Landlocked South Dakota is again fighting with the federal government about water — this time over whether the Obama administration can regulate streams and smaller bodies of water.
Republicans U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem and U.S. Sen. John Thune have criticized a proposal that would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate seasonal and rain-dependent streams and determine on a case-by-case basis the regulation of other smaller bodies of water.
Noem and Thune say the proposal diminishes states’ influence and could have potentially significant economic effects.
Their concerns have been echoed by dozens of other lawmakers as well as farm lobbying groups.
Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson has not weighed in.
The EPA argues it isn’t expanding its authority, just clarifying it, and that the change will protect the country’s water supply.