Water pollution in the Lone Star State is getting worse as President Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders sparred over a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s Clean Water Rule.
The lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday accuses the EPA of failing to properly regulate the state’s water system and its failure to adequately assess groundwater quality in an attempt to make it safe to build a dam.
In the suit, Paxton alleges that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt violated state law by not requiring that Texas “take action to protect and conserve the environment from the toxic substances that have contaminated our drinking water supplies.””EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have the responsibility to ensure that the Clean Water Act does not allow for the destruction of water resources,” Paxton said in a statement.
The suit seeks an injunction against the EPA, the Army Corps, the EPA Administrator and other officials to force EPA to take action to ensure water quality.
It asks the courts to rule that EPA’s “overreaching” in regulating water is “unconstitutional and unlawful.”
Pruitt’s office declined to comment.
Trump, a Democrat, and Sanders, a Vermont independent, have sparred for months over whether the EPA is properly enforcing its Clean Water rule, which requires states to use more environmentally friendly methods to address water contamination in the nation’s rivers, lakes and aquifers.
Pruit’s office is appealing the lawsuit and the EPA will likely argue in the meantime that the rule does not apply to Texas because the state has already met its water quality standards.
Trump has defended the rule, saying that he will make a decision on whether to uphold the regulation at a later date.
Sanders has been one of the most vocal opponents of the rule.
The senator has said that he would support a lawsuit to overturn the rule if the court found the EPA has failed to adequately protect the public and is violating federal law.