Friday, October 09, 2015

Appeals-court panel blocks WOTUS rule nationwide

A federal appeals court has blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing its new definition of "waters of the United States," extending an earlier, limited WOTUS ruling to 37 other states.

Judge David McKeague of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati wrote that the 18 states challenging the rule “have demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims” and a stay will not cause undue harm to the environment. "Judge Richard Griffin joined in McKeague's opinion, providing the two-to-one majority," Agri-Pulse reports.

"The decision is a victory for many in the agricultural community who were hoping to stop the rule through the legal process after legislative efforts through either a standalone bill or an appropriations rider proved challenging," Agri-Pulse reports. "Those opposed to the rule contend it greatly expands the authority of the EPA under the Clean Water Act and would have been placed an overly expensive burden, both on authorities charged with enforcement and producers found to be in non-compliance. The rule is subject to a number of lawsuits across the country from states and stakeholder groups."

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