ST. PAUL, MINN— Citing an overreach by the federal government that will undermine state regulatory authority over Minnesota's waterways, State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) along with eleven other lawmakers, has signed a letter asking Attorney General Lori Swanson to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its expanded rulemaking authority under the Waters of the United States Rule and the Clean Water Act.
"The EPA is completely overstepping its bounds," Miller said. "It has redefined virtually all waters in the country, and expanded the scope of federal authority to include seasonal streams, wetlands, ponds and ditches. Just imagine the headaches this is going to bring to farmers and rural landowners throughout Minnesota."
The EPA's new rule is set to go into effect on August 28. The letter Rep. Miller co-authored states that the language goes beyond the scope of its constitutional powers. More than half of the states across our nation have filed similar lawsuits against the EPA, including North and South Dakota.
Miller believes this far reaching broadening of federal authority will create significant economic risk and uncertainty for agriculture and other businesses in Minnesota. He also added that Minnesota already has laws regulating and protecting our bodies of water, and that the added regulations that will be imposed by the EPA are unwanted and unnecessary.
"The EPA basically wants to take away the ability for locally-elected officials to manage area waters as they best see fit, which is nonsense," Miller said. "It's another instance of a federal agency claiming that they're smarter than local officials, which is insulting considering Minnesota's proud history of preserving our land, air and waterways. Hopefully our attorney general will challenge the EPA's rulemaking authority in federal court and prevent it from usurping local jurisdiction."