DTN: EPA’s Waters of the U.S. Regulation Now in Effect in 26 States

DTN writer Todd Neeley reported yesterday that, “The 2015 waters of the United States, or WOTUS, now is in effect in 26 states after a federal judge in South Carolina issued a nationwide injunction on a recent EPA rule that delayed the implementation of the Obama-era regulation.

The legal wrangling that has occurred since Obama’s EPA finalized the 2015 rule still leaves the nation divided on the Clean Water Act rule, with the rule in effect in some states but not in others. The rule redefined which wetlands and small waterways are covered by the Clean Water Act. Many farmers and ranchers feared the change would lead to increased government regulation of their land.

“A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina ruled on Thursday that the EPA did not follow the Administrative Procedures Act in finalizing its rule to delay the 2015 WOTUS for two years. That action by EPA was designed to allow the agency to complete a rewrite of WOTUS. A proposed new definition of WOTUS currently is under review by the Office of Management and Budget.”

Mr. Neeley noted that, “With the ruling on Thursday, the 2015 rule now is in effect in Iowa, Illinois, California, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Louisiana, Hawaii, Delaware and Connecticut.

“Because of court actions in other cases, the 2015 rule remains on hold in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Kentucky, South Dakota, Missouri, Alaska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Idaho, Arizona, Nebraska, Montana, Arkansas, Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming.”

Yesterday’s DTN article added, “American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement to DTN that the recent court action means the EPA needs to act quickly.

“‘To avoid widespread uncertainty and potential enforcement against ordinary farming activities in these already uncertain times, we call on the administration to take immediate steps to limit the impact of this dangerous court decision,’ he said.”

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