The State & Environmental Impact Center

Fifteen AGs Filed Amicus Brief in Support of Environmental Groups Challenging Narrowed Waters of the United States Rule

December 17, 2020
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led a coalition of 15 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of environmental groups seeking summary judgment in their lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's so-called "Navigational Waters Protection Rule," which drastically reduced the extent of federal protections under the Clean Water Act. In their amicus brief, the attorneys general emphasized that the rule "tramples Congress’s intent to ensure a federal regulatory floor and invites the very “race to the bottom' the [Clean Water] Act sought to deter." The attorneys general warned that the rule is based on "a highly distorted vision of 'States’ rights'” that "merely elevates the rights of States to allow the degradation of water quality above the rights of States to be free from excessive pollution, contravening the [Clean Water] Act’s animating purpose."