The Arizona Mining Association passed along this announcement. This is a complex debate with dramatically different interpretations and claims of what the rule means. Farmers are convinced EPA will regulate water in man-made ditches in their fields, leading to a nationwide campaign to "Ditch the Rule." [Below, National Association of Manufacturers]
PHOENIX, AZ – September 1, 2015. The Arizona Mining Association (AMA), Arizona Farm Bureau, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Arizona Rock Products Association, New Mexico Mining Association, New Mexico Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau filed a lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona challenging the U.S. EPA’s new rule dramatically expanding the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.
Kelly Shaw Norton, President of the Arizona Mining Association, explained, “EPA’s new rule rests on the implausible idea that vast expanses of bone-dry, southwestern desert can be subject to intrusive federal regulation as ‘waters of the United States.’ The focus of this lawsuit will be the new rule’s definition of ‘tributary,’ which expands ‘waters’ jurisdiction based on the presence of certain topographical features that are ubiquitous in the arid southwest, even in areas where it has been decades or centuries since any water has actually flowed on the ground. What is worse, under the new rule, an agency official in Washington, DC, can deem an expanse of desert to be a ‘water of the United States’ even if relevant topographical features do not actually exist.”
Norton organized this broad coalition of affected southwest business groups to ensure that issues important to the arid west are front and center in efforts to rein in EPA’s dramatic overreach, and to protect southwestern businesses and landowners from unreasonable new regulatory burdens.