Judge Halts 2023 WOTUS Rule in Two States

The Biden administration’s version of the Waters of the U.S. rule went into effect Monday. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association expressed displeasure in a District Court decision to deny a preliminary injunction of the rule.

NCBA President Todd Wilkinson says, “This latest WOTUS rule will place more burdens on family farms and ranches, drive up costs, and prevent cattle producers like me from making investments in our land.”

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized the latest WOTUS rule at the end of 2022. NCBA and its litigation partners filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the rule on January 18, 2023. NCBA sought a nationwide preliminary injunction, which would have prevented the federal government from implementing the WOTUS rule until the entire case is decided. Instead, the court granted a limited injunction in only two states—Texas and Idaho.

NCBA Chief Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart adds, “The court’s decision to keep the Biden administration’s WOTUS rule in place is concerning and irresponsible.”

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall released the following statement regarding the court ruling in Texas and Idaho:

“AFBF is pleased the District Court ordered EPA and the U.S. Army Corps to halt implementation of the troubled 2023 WOTUS Rule in Texas and Idaho. The judge recognized the new rule likely oversteps EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act, which creates uncertainty for the farmers and ranchers who must navigate the complicated regulations.

“The District Court ruling also undermines the agencies’ rationale for pushing through this new rule before the Supreme Court rules in Sackett v. EPA. These legal challenges send a clear message to EPA that it should rewrite WOTUS to limit its scope to navigable waters. Farmers and ranchers share the goal of caring for the natural resources we’re entrusted with, but we need rules that don’t require a team of attorneys to interpret.”

Read the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruling here.

Source: NAFB News Service

Recommended Posts