WOTUS delay blocked, rule reinstated in 24 states

By |  August 20, 2018

The WOTUS rule was reinstated in all but 26 U.S. states. Photo by Megan Smalley.

The United States district court in South Carolina blocked the Trump administration’s two-year delay of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, issuing a summary judgment to reinstate the rule in 24 U.S. states.

The rule, implemented by the Obama administration, was delayed by former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt in an effort to cut down on regulations. Those who oppose the WOTUS rule argue that it represents regulatory overreach.

According to ABC News, South Carolina District Judge David Norton delivered his ruling on the basis that the U.S. government did not follow proper procedure in delaying the WOTUS rule. Therefore, he suspended the EPA’s decision.

“The agencies refused to engage in a substantive reevaluation of the definition of the ‘waters of the United States’ even though the legal effect of the suspension rule is that the definition of ‘waters of the United States’ ceases to be the definition under the WOTUS rule,” Norton wrote in his decision.

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA), along with other industries, states and coalitions, are appealing this decision and pursuing a judicial stay of the rule, as well as considering other legal options.

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