FEDERAL COURT RULES EPA CAN ENFORCE WOTUS IN OTHER STATES

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September 4, 2015


BISMARCK, ND – Federal District Court Judge Ralph Erickson today clarified the scope of the preliminary injunction issued last week in a case challenging EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of the United States” Rule. 

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, on behalf of North Dakota, together with 12 other states, had requested that preliminary injunction apply nationwide. Today’s order states that EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are only prohibited from applying their rule in North Dakota and the other states that are plaintiffs in the case.  In the Order, Judge Erickson stated, “… there are compelling reasons in favor of both extension of the injunction and limitation of the injunction. … As the matter is left to the sound discretion of the court, it suffices to recognize that the decision involves balancing the interests of competing sovereign entities, as well as undermining the ruling of other courts.”

The order does not affect the states’ on-going challenge to the rule. 

“Although the WOTUS rule will unfortunately be effective in other states, North Dakotans will continue to be protected during the legal challenge, as will the citizens of the twelve other states that joined our lawsuit,” said Stenehjem.  “I remain confident that, at the end of the ligation, this widely unpopular rule will be declared unlawful and unenforceable nationwide.”    

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