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September 8, 2015

Judge Rules Costly EPA Waters Rule Can Move Forward In 37 States

Last week Connecting the Dots reported a federal judge in North Dakota stopped the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States rule from going into effect in 13 states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming). 

Last Friday, the same judge said he would not stop the rule from moving forward in the other 37 states. According to The Hill, North Dakota U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson argued that some states are ready to implement the WOTUS rule and that other courts have allowed the regulation to move forward. Erickson said, “On the one hand, there is a desirability for uniformity regarding a national rule with national application. On the other hand, there is the idea of respecting the decisions of other courts and other sovereign states.” 

The 13 states affected by Judge Erickson’s earlier stay had asked him to extend the injunction, arguing “uniform applicability, consistency, and predictability were driving forces in the need for and development of the rule.”