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Agricultural News

Federal Judge Puts WOTUS on Hold- EPA Claims Only Impact is in 13 States Part of Litigation

Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:27:32 CDT

Federal Judge Puts WOTUS on Hold- EPA Claims Only Impact is in 13 States Part of Litigation Thirteen states will not see the Waters of the US Clean Water Rule go into effect on Friday- as a Federal Judge in North Dakota has issued a preliminary injunction stopping EPA from turning on the provisions of the rule on the 28th of August. The rest of the country will see implementation move forward, according to the EPA. Oklahoma is not among the the thirteen states that will be protected under the injunction- however neighboring states Arkansas, Missouri, Colorado and New Mexico are a part of the thirteen states involved.

According to Feedstufffs- Under the order issued by the District Court of North Dakota, EPA said those states that obtained the preliminary injunction are not subject to the new rule, and instead continue to be subject to the prior regulation. “In all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28,” EPA said in a statement.

The Missouri Cattlemen's Association has released a news release that says they support the decision from a federal judge today, Aug. 27, 2015, to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Water Rule - more commonly called WOTUS (Waters of the United States) - from going into effect. This decision comes one day before the rule was to be implemented. MCA President Janet Akers said this decision is reason to be "cautiously optimistic."

"This administration's intentional land and water grab is a pervasive invasion of private property rights. This administration ignored concerns from the Army Corps of Engineers, farmers, ranchers, attorney generals from numerous states, small businesses and more," said Akers. "I am sure the administration considers today's decision a minor roadblock and that's why we must continue the fight against this rule."

Akers said this rule must be pulled back permanently. She said MCA, along with nearly all Missouri agricultural organizations, supports S.B. 1140, which basically tells the Obama administration's agencies to "ditch the rule" and start over.

In his opinion, Judge Ralph Erickson, a district court judge for the District of North Dakota said it appears the EPA "has violated its Congressional grant of authority in its promulgation of the Rule at issue." He went on to say North Dakota, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming and two state agencies in New Mexico who filed the lawsuit "have demonstrated that they will face irreparable harm" if the rule were to go into effect Aug. 28.

Akers said the rule would put nearly all private property in Missouri under the jurisdictional authority of the EPA. She said this would result in "costly and unnecessary" permits for all landowners; not just farmers and ranchers. She urges the U.S. Senate to pass S.B. 1140 without delay.

Click here to read the order released by Federal Judge Ralph Erickson.



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