Print Page   |   Contact Us
@IMA-NA
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   

 

View all (541) posts »
 

Court Rules Against 2015 WOTUS Rule

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, June 11, 2018

On Friday, June 8th, a federal judge in Georgia granted a preliminary injunction against the Obama administration's 2015 Waters of the United States rule. The ruling issued by Judge Lisa Godbey Wood for U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia found that the 11 states, which filed the suit, have a substantial likelihood of winning their claims against the 2015 rule. The states included in the ruling are Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Kentucky. These 11 states join the 13 states granted a preliminary injunction against the 2015 rule by the U.S. District Court for North Dakota Southeastern Division. Friday's decision means the 2015 WOTUS rule is effectively blocked in half the country.

This decision is important for several reasons, despite the fact the country is not currently operating under the 2015 WOTUS rule due to the applicability rule issued by the Trump Administration. The applicability rule, pushes the implementation date of the 2015 rule back to 2020, to buy Administrator Pruitt's EPA time to draft, propose and finalize their own interpretation of Waters of the United States. There are currently several challenges to the applicability rule and should one win, it would mean the 2015 rule could go into effect.  Judge Godbey's ruling will make these legal challenges to the applicability rule more difficult for proponents of the 2015 rule to win. This was also the first District Court ruling since the Supreme Court decided in January to give primacy to District Courts on WOTUS challenges.

As IMA-NA has repeatedly stated, the process of finalizing a more common sense WOTUS rule, based on cooperative federalism is going to be long and drawn out. Each action taken by the EPA is going to trigger legal challenges, so it is important to note the courts continue to rule against the 2015 rule as it builds a record in our favor. Below you can read the statement from the Waters Advocacy Coalition on Judge Godbey's ruling. 

 

“Today’s court ruling is validation for the thousands of farmers, ranchers, and small business owners across the country who have been speaking out against the 2015 WOTUS rule as too broad, confusing, and crippling to their livelihoods,” said Waters Advocacy Coalition spokeswoman Stephanie Genco. “Americans deserve a common-sense WOTUS rule that doesn’t require a team of lawyers and consultants to navigate a maze of federal regulations before building on their own property or plowing a field on their farms. While the 2015 Rule is now stayed in 25 states all together, the other half of the country is still in limbo. That is why the Waters Advocacy Coalition will continue to call on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the unlawful 2015 rule and release a revised definition of Waters of the United States that affirms the intent of Congress under the Clean Water Act and provides a regulatory structure that supports both clean water and clear rules.”

 

Tags:  court  district court  injunction  legal  Regulations  wotus 

Share |
Permalink | Comments (0)
 
Legal