A heated legal battle between Virginia officials and the Environmental Protection Agency over what EPA critics describe as a land takeover gets its day in federal court Friday.

The EPA, citing an abundance of stormwater runoff, has proposed a plan that Virginia officials say would cost them nearly half a billion dollars — and could cost homeowners and businesses their private property.

The EPA contends that water itself can be regulated as a pollutant if there’s too much of it. The agency says heavy runoff is having a negative impact on Accotink Creek and that it has the regulatory authority to remedy the situation.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican, says what the EPA has proposed is “illegal,” and he’s not alone in the fight. He’s been joined in a lawsuit against the federal agency by the Democratic-controlled Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.