Court Issues Stay of 2015 WOTUS Rule in Three More States

Posted By: Sydni Dobson SLMA News ,
A District Court in Texas has issued a Stay of the WOTUS Rule pending the ongoing appeal over its merits. The decision blocks any enforcement of the WOTUS rule during litigation over its merits within the states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. These three states now join the following 24 states that also have received a Stay of the WOTUS Rule pending related litigation and rulemakings: Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Kentucky, as well as, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
 
EPA, the Corps, and industry groups collectively asked a federal court to Stay it's August 16 decision that abolishedEPA's January 31, 2018 rulemaking that sought to delay the implementation of the WOTUS rule for a period of 2 years in order to allow for the revision and/or replacement of the rule. The purpose of the delay rule was to ensure that the WOTUS rule was not applied during the ongoing litigation and proposed rulemakings already underway.  Now that the 2-year delay has been voided, the final WOTUS rule is in effect in the states that are not covered by other judicially-issued temporary stays of the rule.
 
SLMA worked with its industry partners to sign onto comments submitted to EPA and the Corps on the agencies' June 29 Supplemental Notice to its former proposal to withdraw/repeal the 2015 WOTUS Rule. The Notice served as a supplement to the agencies' July 2017 Proposal to repeal the Rule which was criticized for its lack of clarity and specificity. EPA has also submitted a draft rule to the OMB which would serve as the proposed replacement of the WOTUS Rule if finalized.
 
Updates will continue to be included in the monthly SLMA Regulatory Update.