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Press Release

Alaska Attorney General Joins 23-State Effort to Protect Water Rights of Alaskan Property Owners

June 2, 2020

(Anchorage, AK) – Alaska Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson joined a 23-state effort in a motion to intervene (PDF 428K) in federal court, aimed at protecting property owners, farmers and energy producers in seeking to convince a federal district judge in Northern California to uphold the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule.  This Rule would give greater certainty to farmers and landowners on water issues subject to federal and state regulation.

Attorney General Kevin Clarkson says, “By joining this effort, I want to ensure that the federal court considers Alaska’s interests when it decides this issue, which has significant ramifications for Alaska landowners and the Alaskan economy.”

Alaska and its partners argue their states have significant interests in protecting their ability to administer waters within their borders, and that those interests are unique and separate from those argued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its fellow defendants. The coalition also opposes a motion that would keep the new rule from going into effect anywhere in the country while the case moves forward.

Attorney General Kevin Clarkson adds, “The Navigable Waters Protection Rule strikes the proper balance between the roles of federal regulators and states in protecting land and water resources in that it shows respect for the primary responsibility and right of states like Alaska to regulate their own water resources.”  The Trump administration rule also corrects flaws within the Obama-era regulation, which extended the authority of the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers far beyond what Congress intended and the Constitution permits.

Alaska joined the West Virginia- and Georgia-led motion to intervene along with attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

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Department Media Contact: Assistant Attorney General Maria Bahr at (907) 269-5285 or maria.bahr@alaska.gov.