Waters of the U.S.: U.S. Supreme Court Rules District Courts Proper Venue

DTN writer Todd Neeley reported earlier this week that, “The national stay on the 2015 waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is expected to be lifted following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that any legal challenges to the rule must take place in federal district courts and not at the appellate level.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the previous administration’s rule will take effect. That’s because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to put the brakes on the WOTUS rule prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, putting in place a two-year delay on the effective date while EPA undertakes a broader rewrite.

“EPA spokesperson Liz Bowman offered the following statement on the Supreme Court decision: ‘The Trump administration saw this decision coming and put a plan in place to level the playing field and ensure certainty for states and regulated community. The Trump administration’s stay of the 2015 WOTUS rule will very likely be complete before any change in court jurisdiction can be finalized, or the Obama administration’s overreaching definition of WOTUS can be implemented.'”

Mr. Neeley explained that, “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati issued a national stay of the rule in response to lawsuits across the country and lingering questions about the rule’s legality.

“Agriculture, other industry groups, and state governments across the country alleged the Obama administration’s rule expanded federal jurisdiction to waters not traditionally protected by the Clean Water Act. Even prior to the completion of the rule, farmers and ranchers faced uncertainty as to which waters were considered jurisdictional. So far, neither Congress nor the EPA has been able to make the law more understandable.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law, General Interest, Real Estate Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.