- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 5, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) - New York and seven other states are suing the Trump administration for allegedly gutting longstanding protections for migratory birds under the 100-year-old federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The lawsuit stems from a legal opinion issued by the Department of Interior last year that prohibits energy companies and other businesses from being criminally prosecuted if they accidentally kill migratory birds.

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, Democratic Attorney General Barbara Underwood argued that “New York’s over 300 migratory bird species have substantial, ecological, scientific and economic value to the state.”

The suit calls the opinion “arbitrary and capricious and contrary to the law” and is asking the court to vacate it.

Joining the lawsuit are California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico and Oregon.

The DOI didn’t immediately respond for comment.

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