Court halts WOTUS rule enforcement
Washington –The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ordered the EPA to stop enforcement nationwide of the Waters of the United States rule. In doing so, the Cincinnati-based court recognized that this rule has serious flaws and cannot go forward until the courts have had an opportunity to understand its effect on farmers, ranchers and landowners of all kinds, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said in a statement.
“The judges expressed deep concerns over the basic legality of this rule. We’re not in the least surprised: This is the worst EPA order we have seen since the agency was established more than 40 years ago. The court clearly understood our arguments,” Stallman said.
The decision expands a stay that a North Dakota judge imposed in August, the day before the rule took effect, and that only applied to 13 states.
While farmers and ranchers are confident the courts will strike down this rule, cases like this almost always take years to win—and stays don’t last forever, Stallman noted. “So we again ask the Senate to pass legislation to nullify this rule just as the House has already done. Farmers and ranchers cannot afford to wait.”
A copy of the court order can be found here.