Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, the 20th lawsuit he has filed on behalf of the citizens of Texas since 2009.
This current lawsuit against the EPA is in response to the newly enacted “Waters of the U.S.” rule, which seeks to more clearly define the types of bodies of water that would fall under the protection of the Clean Water Act.
Opponents of the rule state that this is an overreach by the federal government and will lead to more regulations that could result in the takeover of private property. However, the EPA says they do not plan to expand the number of waters under their control, but only seek to clarify which ones fall under the existing rule.
Paxton argues that the rule has been written in such a broad terms that it could include dry creek beds, ditches and gullies. He calls the EPA’s attempt to assert its authority a threat to "the very structure of the Constitution" of the United States. Louisiana and Mississippi have also joined in the Texas-led lawsuit.
This suit comes just after the state’s first win against the EPA. The Supreme Court just handed down a 5-4 ruling against the EPA, striking down the agency’s mercury pollution limits for power plants on June 29. The majority of Justices declared that the EPA had not adequately considered the costs to power plants that these newly imposed limits would create.
Companies in Texas, especially those involved in the oil and gas industry, know that conducting business can be a legal maze. Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas, have one of the most experienced oil and gas attorneys in the state and can help you navigate any legal hurdles you come across. Give us a call and see how we can assist your company.