Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Court: EPA's water rule in effect in Alabama, most other states

The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers earlier this year, officially is in effect in Alabama after a federal court's clarification.

The rule, which has been heavily contested by some states and industry groups since the release of its initial draft, was challenged with several lawsuits immediately after its finalization. North Dakota Federal District Court Judge Ralph Erickson issued an injunction against the rule’s implementation based on a lawsuit by several states.

Erickson recently clarified that the injunction only applies to the states involved in that lawsuit: North Dakota, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming.

While Alabama is also involved in a lawsuit, along with West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin, among others, that suit is not covered by Erickson’s injunction, meaning the rule goes into effect in all states except for the aforementioned suit's dozen states. Because of this, the American Farm Bureau Federation is urging the Senate to pass a bill that would prevent the EPA from implementing the rule outright, similar to a measure passed by the House in May.

Organizations in this Story

Alabama Farmers Federation U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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