Montana and twelve other states sued the federal government Monday to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from enacting a new rule extending the Clean Water Act to small streams and wetlands.
State Attorney General Tim Fox says the Obama administration went too far by asserting control over waterways that belong to the states.
"The Clean Water Act does not authorize them to go this far, obviously, and expand the definition of navigable waters, waters of the U.S., to include prairie potholes, ephemeral ditches. For most folks, in most states, it’s a large overreach."
The lawsuit has drawn support from an array of business and agriculture groups, including the Montana Stockgrowers Association and Montana Farm Bureau Federation.
Supporters of the new water rules include the National Wildlife Federation, which says they will help protect streams that are the source of drinking water for one-third of America’s population.