Washington, 19 other states sue EPA over regulation cuts to Clean Water Act

Washington Attorney General
Washington Attorney General's Office
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. 

SEATTLE, Wash. — Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for cutting regulations in the Clean Water Act.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, these cuts affect the state’s ability to keep its rivers, lakes and shores clean.

On July 13, the EPA made final changes to rules in section 401 of the Clean Water Act—changing the way local governments police waste being dumped in their waterways. The changes will go into effect on September 11.

“Instead of protecting the environment, this administration is yielding to polluting industries and undermining a key tool states use to protect their water,” said Ferguson. “We will continue to advocate for a clean and healthy Washington and confront the powerful special interest groups that dictate this administration’s actions.”

The lawsuit is led by Washington, New York and California, and joined by 17 states and the District of Columbia.

“Washington will not stand idly by as President Trump tries to gut the Clean Water Act and strip states of our ability to protect our families and communities,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee. “This rule is an unprecedented assault on the right and obligation of every state to protect our waters, and we will fight to uphold our clear authority under the law. I thank Attorney General Ferguson for challenging this illegal and reprehensible attack on Washington’s natural resources.”

The Attorney General’s Office says the new rule would force states to issue permits to industries dumping waste, with only a limited review of how waterways will be impacted. They say it also limits what information industries need to share to receive those permits.