News Feature | February 11, 2014

Can Arizona Lawmakers Nullify All EPA Regulations?

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome

bill of rights
The Arizona bill cites the Tenth Amendment, which holds that powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Arizona is getting in the ring with the EPA.

Conservative lawmakers from the Grand Canyon State have introduced a bill in their state legislature that would nullify all EPA regulations in Arizona.

"In seeking to nullify the EPA’s rules, the bill cites the Tenth Amendment, which holds that powers not delegated to the federal government are "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,"The Hill reported

National Journal summed up the predictable nature of the developments: "It's no surprise when conservative state lawmakers invoke the 10th Amendment to rebuke the federal government, and it's all too common that Arizona tangles with the Obama administration. So it may have only been a matter of time before Arizona lawmakers did both at the same time.”

The legislation states the view that "the rulemaking authority of the United States Environmental Protection Agency is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates its true meaning and intent as given by the founders and ratifiers."

The 10th Amendment Center, which supports the rights of the states, pointed to the "whopping" number of lawmakers who teamed up to back the bill: 12 state senators and 25 state representatives. "This shows a tremendous amount of backlash against federal overreach in Arizona and recognize the 10th Amendment as a remedy for the systemic abuses of Washington D.C.," the center said.

Conservatives make a regular habit of criticizing the EPA, and water is one of the chief areas of complaint in recent months. That's because the EPA wants to bring more bodies of water under its regulatory authority in a move that Republicans see as a power grab.

"In light of the significant implications this action would have on the economy, property rights and state sovereignty, this process must be given more thought and deliberation to allow for important, statutorily-required, weighing of the scientific and technical underpinnings of the proposed regulatory changes," Reps. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and Chris Stewart, R-Utah, wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, per a write-up on Fox News.

They said the proposal would give the agency “unprecedented control over private property across the nation,” according to the piece.

Image credit: "Bill of Rights" © 2008 David Jones, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic: