An appeals court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stay their controversial waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS) nationwide until the court can determine jurisdiction over the many pending lawsuits. (Click here to read the motion of stay.)
This has the same effect as an injunction, preventing EPA and Army Corps from implementing the rule for the time being. The rule went into effect on Aug. 28, 2015.
The three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Judicial Circuit voted 2-1 to stay implementation, saying that the burden to state and federal government, private parties and the general public outweighed any harm to the agencies in keeping the status quo.
EPA and the Army Corps said they respect he court's decision and "we look forward to litigating the merits of the Clean Water Rule.” EPA also said that despite the stay the appeals court acknowledges that clarification of the Clean Water Act is needed. It cited language in the ruling that noted the “agencies conscientiously endeavored, within their technical expertise and experience, and based on reliable peer-reviewed science, to promulgate new standards to protect water quality that conform to the Supreme Court’s guidance.”