Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, along with ten other state attorneys general, initiated legal action on Tuesday by filing a lawsuit against a rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This rule, implemented by the Biden administration, introduces extensive and unlawful modifications to federal regulations governing water quality certifications issued by states. The legal challenge contends that the Biden administration’s rule, enacted in 2023, overturns reforms instituted by President Trump, which aimed to bring clarity and consistency to the certification process. The lawsuit asserts that the EPA’s rule obstructs the progress of crucial infrastructure and energy projects, including pipelines, natural gas plants, hydropower, and renewable energy initiatives.
This legal action, marking Attorney General Knudsen’s 35th lawsuit against the Biden administration, seeks to nullify the 2023 Water Quality Certification Rule and prevent the EPA from enforcing it. The objective is to reinstate the reforms implemented during the Trump era.
Attorney General Knudsen expressed concern that the Biden administration’s rule undermines the Clean Water Act, defying congressional intent and exceeding its authorized jurisdiction. He emphasized his commitment to challenging policies that adversely affect the citizens of Montana.