State Chamber Files Lawsuit Against EPA Over Water Rule
Unprecedented power grab would drive up costs for business, harm private property owners

Oklahoma City (July 13, 2015) – The State Chamber of Oklahoma joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, Portland Cement Association and the Tulsa Regional Chamber in a lawsuit filed Friday against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. The suit alleges the rule exceeds the authority granted to the agencies under the Clean Water Act and is unconstitutional because the agencies did not comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act during the rulemaking process.

“The EPA’s new rule is nothing more than the federal government trying to put a noose around the necks of business, agriculture and economic development,” said State Chamber of Oklahoma President & CEO Fred Morgan. “In effect, WOTUS will make dry creek beds and rain puddles subject to federal regulation, preventing property owners from being able to use their own land. This rule cannot be allowed to stand and we will continue to work with our partners in the lawsuit and with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to combat this overreach.”

By broadening the definition beyond the historic navigable waters to include almost any body of water within the United States, the EPA will have regulatory control over almost any area where water pools, even temporarily. This expansion of federal power will lead to increased compliance and regulatory costs for all industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, oil and gas exploration and construction.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern Oklahoma in Tulsa. A copy of the filing can be found on the State Chamber website by clicking here.