Nine states sue EPA over water rule, saying it allows pollution
Nine U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba have sued the U.S. EPA over a regulatory change that exempts transfers of water from one water body to another from Clean Water Act protections. If allowed to stand, the plaintiffs charge, the June administrative ruling would permit ships to dump ballast water in the Great Lakes and other water bodies regardless of whether the water is polluted, salty, or contains invasive species. It would also allow essentially unregulated downstream releases of polluted water from already-polluted reservoirs or lakes like North Dakota’s Devil’s Lake, the states charge. In short, the ruling would likely harm drinking water supplies and disrupt fisheries. “EPA’s new rule makes it much easier to further pollute our waters and spread exotic species,” said Jim Murphy of the National Wildlife Federation. “We need strong measures to protect our waters, not illegal rules that make the problem worse.” The nine states suing the agency are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, and Washington.