Under the Dome

NC challenges federally protected waters rule

North Carolina has joined 27 other states in challenging an Obama administration move to expand the definition of federally protected waters.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers say the rule will extend protection to streams and wetlands that are isolated from other bodies of water. The agencies say the rule places 3 percent to 5 percent more U.S. waters under the protection of the Clean Water Act.

North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources says the rule will expand federal jurisdiction over “a significant portion” of the state. DENR says the rule will subject the state to excessive regulation.

The state and 10 others filed legal challenges Monday in federal court in Georgia. Similar complaints were filed in courts in North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.

The challenges claim the rule is unconstitutional and “represents the latest effort by the federal government to expand its authority and control over the daily lives of American citizens,” DENR said in a statement.