A federal district court ruling has effectively suspended the 2015 Waters Of The U.S. (WOTUS) rule in 11 more states, bringing the total to 24 states.
According to Don Parish, senior director of regulatory relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), disputes over jurisdiction have slowed appeals.
“Initially, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put a nationwide stay in place,” he says. “But, because the Supreme Court ruled that the proper courts to review this case is not the circuit court, but the district court, we’re having to relitigate these injunctions all over again.”
In June, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced his intention to repeal WOTUS. Which AFBF president Zippy Duval says was “never really about clean water.” He says it was “a federal land grab designed to put a straightjacket on farming and private businesses across this nation.” Still, while the Trump Administration repeatedly promised to repeal and replace the controversial law, there has been little action thus far.
“We hope that the administration moves quickly to withdraw the rule and put another one in place,” Parish says. “They’ve already taken public comment on that. We think they’re going to give the public another opportunity to comment on, the 2015 rule, all the reasons it was bad. But, we haven’t seen that yet.”