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Commissioner Miller Joins Lawsuit to Stop EPA From Enforcing Illegal Rule and Creating Massive Federal Government Overreach (6/29/2015)

AUSTIN – Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a lawsuit to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from its illegal attempt to greatly expand the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. 

“This move by President Obama and the EPA is a Soviet-style attempt that threatens to trample private property rights, individual freedom and economic growth in our country,” Commissioner Miller said. “By expanding the definition of what constitutes the waters of the United States, the EPA is essentially burying Texas landowners in a mountain of burdensome permitting and paperwork, all of which will be micromanaged by the federal government. Our farmers and ranchers are the original environmentalists, conservationists and stewards of the land. They know how to protect the land far better than some bureaucrat in Washington.”

The Texas lawsuit follows EPA’s ruling concerning waters covered by the Clean Water Act, which will now include many puddles, ponds, ditches and dry creek beds. Commissioner Miller believes the final rule is overly broad, while also open to bureaucratic interpretation and abuse. Ultimately, the impact of this rule will mean higher production prices for agricultural producers and higher food prices at the grocery store for consumers. Additionally, the ruling will potentially have a negative environmental impact, because lands previously set aside for conservation may now be placed back into production to make up for lost revenue. 

According to Attorney General Paxton, the new EPA rule is unconstitutional, and Texas is suing the EPA. The argument is that the federal government is exceeding its statutory and constitutional authority by attempting to regulate areas never intended by Congress. The rule is contrary to the congressional intent of the Clean Water Act and infringes on states’ abilities to regulate their own natural resources.

“While we fight this attempt by the federal government to hijack our private property rights, I encourage Congress to act swiftly to prevent this dangerous attack against landowner rights in our country,” Commissioner Miller said.

To view a copy of the lawsuit, click here.