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Rounds Offers Amendment to Budget Resolution to Give State and Local Governments a Say in Environmental Regs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today offered an amendment to the budget resolution that would allow the Senate to give state and local governments a say in environmental settlement agreements that affect citizens within their borders. EPW Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is a cosponsor.  

The amendment seeks to end “sue and settle” tactics by requiring EPA and other agencies to notify state and local governments before entering into a legal settlement from a citizen suit.

“Too often, rather than writing and implementing environmental regulations in an open, transparent process, environmental regulations are enacted as the result of citizen suits prompted by environmental activists. This creates arbitrary timelines and deadlines in which this Administration has used as a catalyst to rush new regulations through the process. Meanwhile, the citizens and state and local governments who will be impacted are not given enough time to properly weigh in or assess the impact.  My amendment would allow us to fix the problem and add a much-needed layer of transparency to this Administration’s broad regulatory brush.”

“I proudly support amendment #412 sponsored by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), which addresses one of the key concerns with ‘sue-and-settle’ tactics that allow environmental activists to play an outsized role in shaping regulatory actions,” said Inhofe.  “‘Sue-and-settle’ is a scheme used by environmental groups to advance their agenda by suing federal agencies, like Environmental Protection Agency and Fish and Wildlife Services, and reaching an agreement to take regulatory action without input from states or other parties that may be impacted.   With over 100 rules attributed to ‘sue-and-settle’ in the first term of the Obama Administration, this is clearly a problem that needs to be fixed.  By cosponsoring this amendment, I stand with hardworking Americans at the state and local levels to ensure they have a seat at the negotiating table when it comes to setting regulations affecting them.”

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