FRANKFORT, Ky. — Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday that he has joined a 23-state coalition to protect Kentuckians from a lawsuit he says would greatly expand federal authority over Kentucky’s land and water resources.
“Kentuckians should not be saddled with costly fees and regulatory requirements from the federal government associated with using our own resources,” Cameron said. “By joining this coalition, we are protecting the ability of the commonwealth to regulate our lands and waters and preventing states like California and New York from trying to re-institute Obama-era environmental regulations.”
If the challenge is successful, Cameron says Kentucky farmers, developers, homeowners, and landowners would have to obtain a federal permit, a process that often takes years and costs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars before developing or using their property if it includes a protected water feature.
The coalition claims the Obama-era rule overextended the authority of the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beyond what Congress intended and the Constitution permits. They also state that President Trump’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule corrects flaws within the Obama-era regulation and strikes a proper balance between the roles of federal regulators and states in protecting land and water resources by respecting the primary responsibility and right of states to regulate their own resources.
In addition to filing a motion to safeguard the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, the coalition also voiced their opposition to another motion that would keep the Trump administration rule from going into effect anywhere in the country while the case moves forward. Both were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In addition to Cameron, the coalition consists of the attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.