BAKERSFIELD, CA - FEBRUARY 6:  A canal flows on February 6, 2014 near Bakersfield, California. Now in its third straight year of unprecedented drought, California is experiencing its driest year on record, dating back 119 years and possible the worst in the past 500 years. Grasslands that support cattle have dried up, forcing ranchers to feed them expensive supplemental hay to keep them from starving or to sell at least some of their herds, and farmers are struggling with diminishing crop water and whether to plant or to tear out permanent crops which use water year-round like almond trees. About 17 rural communities could run out of drinking water within several weeks and politicians are pushing to undo laws that protect several endangered species.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
David McNew BAKERSFIELD, CA - FEBRUARY 6: A canal flows on February 6, 2014 near Bakersfield, California. Now in its third straight year of unprecedented drought, California is experiencing its driest year on record, dating back 119 years and possible the worst in the past 500 years. Grasslands that support cattle have dried up, forcing ranchers to feed them expensive supplemental hay to keep them from starving or to sell at least some of their herds, and farmers are struggling with diminishing crop water and whether to plant or to tear out permanent crops which use water year-round like almond trees. About 17 rural communities could run out of drinking water within several weeks and politicians are pushing to undo laws that protect several endangered species. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

In May, EPA finalized its Clean Water Rule to clarify water protection under the Clean Water Act. Instead of clarification, however, the agency ignited confrontation.

Twenty-seven states think that regulating local streams and tributaries should be their job, not the federal government's; and have filed suit against the agency. It's likely the cases will be consolidated into one action to be heard in federal court.

“This rule will carry a tremendous cost to our state, our economy, and our families,” said South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. “EPA’s proposed expansion would bring many roadside ditches, small ponds on family farms, water features on golf courses, and stormwater systems under extremely burdensome federal regulation." Read More