President Donald Trump’s administration has filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the release of state lakes from the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, The Hill reported.
The Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation is challenging the order, saying the rule “will harm mining and fishing communities and will adversely affect the economies of the United States.”
Trump’s Office said it’s seeking to block public access to the lakes to protect the water quality, habitat, wildlife, fish and wildlife habitat.
The department also said that while the rule allows the release, the department is not able to review the final regulations because they’re not in the public domain.
The Trump administration has been pushing for the release for some time.
In September, Trump signed an executive order that directed the Interior Department to create a “water resource management framework” that would give states more control over the release and to take a closer look at how the Great Lakes are being managed.
But the department did not take action until last week, The Associated Press reported.
In a court filing Monday, the Department of Interior argued that the Obama administration’s water resource management plan is inconsistent with the state’s own water-quality goals, the AP reported.
“The President’s order was based on a lack of clarity, and the lack of public input, about the requirements and restrictions under the Obama-era federal water resource planning framework,” the department wrote.
The lawsuit is the latest in a series of lawsuits against Trump’s efforts to roll back the Great Lake Restoration Initiative.
Last month, a federal judge blocked Trump’s attempt to withhold state funding for a $100 million project that would restore wetlands and streams on the Gulf of Mexico.