Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined counterparts from seven states to sue the Interior Department for rolling back protections for waterfowl, songbirds and other migratory birds.
A Madigan office statement Friday says the suit was filed in a New York federal court on behalf of Illinois, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Oregon.
The lawsuit says it's long been accepted that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act prohibits the killing of migratory birds even when the intention wasn't to kill them. That could include failing to cover a chemical waste.
The lawsuit says the department reinterpreted the law to prohibit activities only when the intent is to kill birds. Madigan says the change "endangers millions of birds that migrate through Illinois." The states want the reinterpretation vacated.