U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota imposed a temporary injunction on the “Waters of the U.S.” rule from going into effect for the 13 states who had filed a case against the rule in the North Dakota district.
Judge Erickson wrote, “The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely. While the exact amount of land that would be subject to the increase is hotly disputed, the agencies admit to an increase in control over those traditional state-regulated waters of between 2.84 to 4.65%.”
The Environmental Protection Agency in a statement said the judge’s ruling only applied to the 13 states and the rule would go into effect for the remainder of the states. The 13 states exempted are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation said, “Even in the face of this court order, EPA is reportedly asserting it will enforce the new rule in the 37 states that are not part of the North Dakota lawsuit. Thus, for much of the nation, this unlawful rule will continue to create uncertainty and legal risk for commonplace land uses like farming and ranching. It’s clear that now is the time for Congress to act and pass S. 1140 to send EPA back to the drawing board.”