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Federal Judge Blocks WOTUS Rule

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

The U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota last week issued a preliminary injunction preventing implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers' (the Corps) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. In his opinion , Judge Ralph Erickson called the rule "exceptionally expansive" and he stated EPA "has violated its Congressional grant of authority in its promulgation of the rule at issue." He also said the states and organizations that brought the lawsuit-North Dakota, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming and two state agencies in New Mexico-would face irreparable harm if the rule were to take effect August 28, the scheduled implementation date. In total, 10 different lawsuits featuring attorneys general from 29 states contend the rule violates states' rights and private property rights. EPA last Friday proceeded to implement the rule in all jurisdictions outside the states covered in Erickson's ruling, including in states that unsuccessfully sought preliminary injunctions in other federal courts.

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