ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are leading a 23-state effort to protect property owners, farmers and energy producers against an attempt to revive an Obama-era water rule.

“We believe the Trump administration’s new rule defining the ‘waters of the United States’ respects the primary responsibility and right of the States to protect our lands and waters,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “It also corrects flaws in the Obama-era rule it replaced, which had extended the authority of the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers far beyond what Congress intended and the Constitution allows. We will continue to fight to preserve the proper balance between the roles of the federal regulators and the States in looking after our land and water resources.”

Carr and his colleagues have asked a federal district judge to join a lawsuit in support of the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule. That rule defines the “waters of the United States” over which federal regulators can impose permitting and other requirements on farmers, developers, and other landowners across the country. Carr and the coalition explain that the new rule gives greater certainty to farmers and landowners by drawing predictable and reasonable lines between waters and wetlands subject to federal regulation and those left to the States. The motion to intervene, filed late Monday, urges the court to consider the interests of Georgia and the rest of the coalition when it decides a challenge to the rule brought by a separate group of attorneys general led by New York and California. The coalition also opposed those States’ request for a nationwide injunction blocking the rule from going into effect.

Georgia co-led the brief with West Virginia. They were joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

A copy of the coalition’s motion to intervene and its proposed opposition to a preliminary injunction are available by request (e-mail kbyrd@law.ga.gov). Both were filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.