District Court Blocks WOTUS from 11 More States

Podcast / Newsline June 12, 2018

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Farmers and ranchers are welcoming a recent suspension of the Waters of the U.S. rule in 11 more states. Micheal Clements reports.

Clements: A federal district court ruling late last week brings agriculture closer to much needed relief from the Waters of the U.S. rule. The court has effectively suspended the 2015 WOTUS rule in 11 more states, bringing the total to 24 states. Don Parrish, senior director of regulatory relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation, says disputes over jurisdiction have slowed appeals.

Parrish: Initially, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put a nationwide stay in place. 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.

Clements: Parrish says the Trump administration has promised to repeal and replace the rule, but has yet to move forward.

Parrish: We hope that the administration moves quickly to withdraw the rule and put another one in place. 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.

Clements: AFBF is working hard to fight the WOTUS rule. Farm Bureau is one of many national organizations involved in a similar case in the Southern district of Texas that Parrish hopes will reissue a nationwide injunction against the rule.

Parrish: Because there’s so many national trade associations that are involved in that litigation, we hope that the Texas court will ultimately get the litigation restarted and provide for a nationwide stay, because the last thing that we need in this is to have different states applying different rules.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

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