Federal Court Abolishes WOTUS Implementation Delay Rule

Posted By: Sydni Dobson (deleted) SLMA News,
On August 16, 2018, a federal court abolished EPA'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 26 states that are not covered by other judicially-issued temporary stays of the rule. The court's action will have no impact on the following 24 states that already are subject to a judicial stay: 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. A stay is also currently being sought by multiple plaintiffs in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, and the court is expected to rule on the petition shortly.
Separately, SLMA worked with the Waters Advocacy Coalition and National Alliance of Forest Owners to submit comments 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.  For more information and updates regarding the 2015 WOTUS Rule, please refer to the monthly SLMA Regulatory Update in the members only section of our website.