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Hawley urges EPA to return authority to states and local governments


Hawley using constitutional expertise to fight for federalism

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Attorney General Josh Hawley today asked the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate its regulatory authority over states and localities. Hawley joins Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and eighteen other Attorneys General in requesting EPA obey federal law and return authority to states and local governments.

The letter points EPA to the terms and structure of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. The Acts establish a cooperative arrangement between federal and state governments to manage and conserve natural resources, using terms such as “encourage,” “assist,” and “promote.” Hawley and his colleagues point out that actions by the EPA concentrating management authority in Washington directly conflict with the cooperative structure of the Acts.

“The EPA has not been ‘assisting’ Missouri,” Hawley said. “It has been overregulating our farmers and ranchers without authority from Congress,” Hawley said. “Worse, its unauthorized actions are undermining Missouri’s ability to conserve and manage our state’s natural resources. It is time for the EPA to start obeying federal law and cooperating with the states to manage the water, air, and other resources so critical to our citizens.”

After nearly a decade of federal overreach by the Agency, Hawley and his fellow Attorneys General are calling for power to be returned to where it belongs – states and local governments. The letter, addressed to Administrator Scott Pruitt, states:

“From our perspective, the recent overreach by the Agency amounts to a striking departure from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Respectfully, we ask that you consider the steps that the Agency may take to restore the principles of cooperative federalism embodied in United States statutes.”