Federal court blocks Clean Water Rule


A federal appeals court temporarily blocked a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulation that would bring more waterways and wetlands under federal protection, the Wall Street Journal reported.

With a 2-1 rule, the Cincinnati-based Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on the Clean Water Rule or “Waters of the United States” rule, which aims to clarify the definition of the waters protected by the Clean Water Act. The ruling highlights the uphill legal battle facing the Clean Water Rule.

“A stay temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new rule and whether they will survive legal testing,” said the majority on a three-judge appeals court panel, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Thirteen states already issued stays on the Clean Water Rule, according to The Washington Post. This ruling creates a nationwide stay.

“The agencies respect the court’s decision to allow for more deliberate consideration of the issues in the case, and we look forward to litigating the merits of the Clean Water Rule,” EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison told the Wall Street Journal.

The rule would put about 3 percent more U.S. waterways—including tributaries with signs of flowing water, like streams, rivers and wetlands—under federal jurisdiction, requiring a federal permit to pollute those waters.

The EPA said the ruling will protect drinking water for more than 117 million Americans.

Critics of the rule in the green industry fear it may create permit requirements for pesticide use near these bodies of water.

Photo: chefranden / photo on flickr

LM Staff

LM Staff

Landscape Management's staff brings together collective experience in journalism, research, writing, and editing. Our team stays tapped into the pulse of the industry, covering a wide range topics with a commitment to delivering compelling stories and high-quality content.

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