Environmentalists target EPA, Pruitt, alleging violations of Clean Water Act

By Charmaine Little | Jun 24, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO – Environmental watchdog organizations have called out the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps for Engineers for two regulations in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The Water Keeper Alliance, Inc., Center for Biologic Diversity, and Center for Food Safety took issue with two regulations the defendants – the EPA and Secretary Scott Pruitt – finalized: the Clean Water Rule of 2015 and the Delay Rule of 2018. The Clean Water Rule refuses to protect waters that are not considered a part of the United States. The Delay Rule extended the applicability of the Clean Water Rule another two years.

They accused the organizations of breaking the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act with the Clean Water Rule and the Delay Rule.

In the lawsuit, they requested an order to find the regulations illegal as they are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law;’” the plaintiffs alleged in the complaint. They also asked the Army Corps of Engineers to be ordered to comply with NEPA for both of the regulations. 

The plaintiffs requested the court to deem sections of the Clean Water Rule illegal as they were declared without taking into account certain procedures. They also asked for relief by way of an order that would vacate the illegal portion of the Clean Water Rule and only allow the legal portions to remain as they asked the court to vacate the Delay Rule in its entirety.

They also requested fees and costs in relation to filing the complaint.

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