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Groups Ask Court to Halt WOTUS Nationwide

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A broad coalition of groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, asked a Georgia federal district court to expand a prior order delaying WOTUS implementation. The groups asked the U.S. District Court in southern Georgia to extend its previous injunction to the 22 states that are currently subject to the “controversial and unlawful” rule. The filing was prompted by another court’s decision to strike down an Environmental Protection Agency rule that delayed application of the Waters of the U.S. Rule. In addition to the Georgia court, federal courts in North Dakota and Texas have blocked the WOTUS rule in specific states.

The combined court decisions left only 22 states subject to the 2015 rule. If the Georgia court should grant the groups’ request, the WOTUS rule would be blocked from implementation in all 50 states. The court filing says one of the many problems with the rule is the “hodgepodge” of states in which the federal rule is applicable. “This is a deeply troubling state of affairs,” the motion says. “A rule this fundamental to the Clean Water Act’s regulatory scheme should not apply in a patchwork manner.”

Republican Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) has been urging the repeal of the 2015 WOTUS rule. Last month, he led a group of 50 House colleagues in sending a letter to House and Senate members of the 2018 Farm Bill conference committee urging them to include his amendment to permanently repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in the final bill.

Source: NAFB News Service