On Friday, a federal judge in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia granted a preliminary injunction against the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule to a coalition of 11 states. As POLITICO Morning Energy notes today, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood "singled out two of the states’ claims as particularly strong: that the Obama rule violated the Clean Water Act with its sweeping coverage of wetlands and streams high up in the tributary network, and that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act by making significant changes between the proposed and final versions of the rule."
“Friday’s ruling is validation for the thousands of farmers, ranchers, and small business owners across the country who have been speaking out against the 2015 WOTUS rule as too broad, confusing, and crippling to their livelihoods,” said Waters Advocacy Coalition spokeswoman Stephanie Genco. “Americans deserve a common-sense WOTUS rule that doesn’t require a team of lawyers and consultants to navigate a maze of federal regulations before building on their own property or plowing a field on their farms. While the 2015 Rule is now stayed in 24 states all together, the other half of the country is still in limbo. That is why the Waters Advocacy Coalition will continue to call on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the unlawful 2015 rule and release a revised definition of Waters of the United States that affirms the intent of Congress under the Clean Water Act and provides a regulatory structure that supports both clean water and clear rules.”