Federal Court Sends Illegal Water Rule Back to EPA

Federal Court Sends Illegal Water Rule Back to EPA

A federal court says the 2015 Waters of the United States rule is unlawful under the Clean Water Act because of its “vast expansion of jurisdiction over waters and land traditionally within the states’ regulatory authority.” The court for the Southern District of Georgia found the agency overstepped not just the CWA, but also the Administrative Procedure Act, which lays out the most basic rules governing how agencies may propose and establish federal regulations. The Georgia court kept in place a preliminary injunction preventing the rule from becoming effective in the 11 states involved with the lawsuit while the Environmental Protection Agency finalizes its own repeal and replacement of the 2015 rule. 

The ruling was a victory not just for the plaintiff states, but a broad coalition of more than a dozen private sector groups, including AFBF. “The court ruling is clear affirmation of exactly what we have been saying for the past five years,” AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen said.



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