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Sean D. Reyes
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Attorney General Reyes Joins Florida-Led Multistate Legal Action Demanding EPA Rescind “Environmental Justice” Initiatives Harming States

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Today, Attorney General Reyes joined a Florida-led coalition of 23 states in filing a legal action demanding that Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency modify its Title VI regulations. These regulations—known as “disparate impact” regulations—are what the EPA is using to advance much of its race-conscious “environmental justice” initiatives.

AG Reyes stated as follows:

The Supreme Court has, in the past, justifiably questioned the statutory authority for Title VI disparate impact regulations, explaining they rely on a “strange” reading of the law. However, this has not prevented the EPA from contorting that same “strange” reading into the enforcement of environmental regulations based on race. 

There are undoubtedly circumstances that may warrant disparate impact regulations. Congress made clear environmental protections aren’t one of them.

In a Petition for Rulemaking, Attorney General Moody and the coalition go on to state that the U.S. Supreme Court has indicated that the EPA’s regulations are unlawful: “Although Sandoval did not directly address the validity of Title VI disparate impact regulations, the Court expressed significant skepticism on the validity of those regulations.” The Court explained that the regulations were “in considerable tension with the rule…that forbids only intentional discrimination.” Additionally, the attorneys general claim that “other scholars have even suggested that the EPA’s regulations violate the Equal Protection Clause.” Notably, in 2020, the Trump administration proposed a revision to the Department of Justice’s similar Title VI regulations to remove disparate impact provisions. The Biden administration withdrew the proposal shortly after taking office.

The attorneys general conclude by stating: “By imposing disparate impact liability where it is not called for by statute, the EPA’s regulations gravely depart from the original understanding of Title VI and compel States to unconstitutionally discriminate against their citizens by incorporating disparate-impact liability. EPA should grant this Petition and revise its Title VI regulations to be consistent with Title VI and the Equal Protection Clause.”

Attorney General Reyes joined Attorney General Moody on the petition along with the state attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Read the petition here.