August 20, 2018

Court Reinstates Waters Of The United States Rule In 26 States

As Politico reports, last week a federal district court in South Carolina overruled the Trump administration’s delay of the previous administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The decision, available here, means the regulation is back on the books in 26 states. (The other 24 states are protected by other federal court injunctions against the rule.)

The 26 states are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Several business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Farm Bureau Federation, plan to appeal the South Carolina judge’s ruling. As NAM explained, the previous administration’s rule, issued in 2015, expanded federal power “over a staggering range of man-made and isolated features – even if they are usually dry or too small to appear on a map.” NAM also noted, “The definitions [of federally-protected waters also) are complex and vague, and often require case-by-case determinations by the agencies.”