CHEYENNE, Wyo - A federal district judge in North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction today, blocking implementation of the EPA’s controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. A coalition, including Wyoming, of 12 states and two New Mexico state agencies urged the court to enter a preliminary injunction at a hearing last week in Fargo.
"I am pleased with the court’s decision. It keeps the rule from taking effect tomorrow, August 28th,” Governor Mead said. “I requested that EPA withdraw this rule from the beginning. It was badly flawed then and remained badly flawed throughout the rulemaking process.”
The Clean Water Act recognizes states as having primary responsibility for land and water resources within their boundaries, and states take this responsibility seriously.
“The EPA failed to properly consult states or consider states’ concerns. The proposed rule unlawfully seeks to expand federal jurisdiction over water, undercuts state primacy and burdens landowners and water users in the West. It is unreasonable and cannot stand,” Governor Mead said.
In granting the preliminary injunction, the judge found that the states demonstrated irreparable harm, the states are likely to succeed on the merits and the public interest favors the injunction. The judge also held onto the case, finding that the federal district court had jurisdiction over it.