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6 States Say EPA Violates Clean Water Act

MANHATTAN (CN) - New York and five other states claim the U.S. EPA is withholding money for water pollution programs in violation of the Clean Water Act.

The states challenge the EPA's promulgation of the "Clean Water Act Section 106 Grant Incentive for State to Implement Adequate Voluntary Permit Fee Programs Rule," 73 Fed. Reg. 52,584 (Sept. 10, 2008) codified at 40 CFR § 25.162(e)."

The Permit Fee Rule allows the EPA to set aside 3% of congressional appropriations under § 106 of the Clean Water Act, for "an alleged financial incentive to only those states that recover 75% or more of their water pollution permit program costs through the assessment of permit fees."

The states say Congress did not authorize the allocation of federal money based on states' recovery of permit fees, but wanted the money distributed "based on the extent of each state's pollution problem." They claim the EPA lacks statutory authority to promulgate its Permit Fee Rule, which is arbitrary, and undermines the Clean Water Act.

Joining New York as plaintiffs in Federal Court are Nevada, Ohio, Alaska, Iowa and Oklahoma.

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