LANSING – Michigan will no longer be one of the plaintiffs challenging a rule initiated during the administration of President Barack Obama regarding the regulation of bodies of water in the United States after Attorney General Dana Nessel pulled the state from the litigation.

The import of the case has diminished now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald Trump first delayed and then gutted the rule that prompted states with Republican attorneys general, as Michigan had at the time in Bill Schuette, to file suit.

The Waters of the U.S. rule clarified which bodies of water fall under federal oversight. Business and agricultural interests objected that it was far too broad.

“While Michigan has protective regulations in place, this lawsuit sought to weaken the federal law which establishes minimum nationwide standards for protecting our shared water resources, including the Great Lakes,” Ms. Nessel said in a statement. “This was a compelling reason for us to withdraw. Michigan won’t be party to a lawsuit that could jeopardize the nation’s largest freshwater shoreline and all waters we’re entrusted to protect.”

Nessel spokesperson Kelly Rossman-McKinney said Nessel is working with Democratic attorneys general to comment on and “likely challenge” the Trump administration’s changes to the water rules.

This story was published by Gongwer News Service.