Attorney General Brad Schimel: Ruling blocking new EPA water pollution regulations should apply nationwide

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WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency says it is going forward with a new federal rule to protect small streams, tributaries and wetlands, despite a court ruling that blocked the measure in 13 central and Western states.

The EPA says a rule that took effect Friday, August 28th in 37 states will safeguard drinking water for millions of Americans.

Opponents, including farm and business groups, have pledged to fight the rule, emboldened by a federal court decision Thursday that blocked the rule from Alaska to Arkansas.

Other lawsuits seeking to block the rule are pending across the country, and the Republican-controlled Congress has moved to thwart it.

Opponents call the rule federal overreach. The EPA says it clarifies which smaller waterways fall under federal protection after two Supreme Court rulings left that uncertain.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is arguing the federal court ruling blocking new Environmental Protection Agency water pollution regulations should apply nationwide.

The EPA says the rules clarify which waterways fall under federal protection. Landowners say the rule will be burdensome because it will require more permits. Lawsuits to block the regulations are pending across the country; Wisconsin has a federal lawsuit in Georgia.

Schimel said in a statement Friday that well-established precedent shows the injunction affects all 50 states and he expects Wisconsin and other states will seek clarification that the ruling applies nationwide.

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