by Whitney Flach
Yesterday, The American Farm Bureau Federation, and dozens of agricultural businesses asked a federal court to vacate the EPA’s and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of the United States” rule.
AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen said, “EPA set out to achieve a predetermined outcome and then manipulated the public notice-and-comment process to achieve that outcome.”
The brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals talks in detail of allegations of legal proceedings over which the court had jurisdiction to hear challenges to the expansive and unlawful rule.
The coalition’s brief explains how EPA violated important procedural safeguards designed to ensure a fair and thoughtful rulemaking process. EPA tactics included withholding key documents, ignoring and ridiculing critical public comments, and issuing illegal “covert propaganda.”
The brief also explains how the rule violates the limits of the Clean Water Act and the Constitution.
Petitioners explain how the rule relies on vague definitions that allow agency enforcers to regulate land features, and provides no fair notice to the public of what features are covered.
Steen said,. “It treated the rulemaking process like a game to be won instead of a deliberative process for developing lawful and reasonable regulations.”
The brief asks that the rule be struck in its entirety.