A federal judge in North Dakota has put the brakes on implementation of new EPA rules governing the Clean Water Act, at least temporarily.
Ruling on a suit filed by 13 states seeking to block the rules, broadly known as the "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rules, Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that those states had met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if the courts didn't act and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided.
"Once the rule takes effect, the states will lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters that will then be subject to the scope of the Clean Water Act," Erickson wrote in his order. You can read a full copy of the judge's order here.
Exactly how broad this ruling is remains a matter of interpretation. In a statement issued following the ruling, the EPA indicated that it would begin enforcing the ruling as planned today, and that yesterday's decision only applies to the 13 states involved in the suit. Others, however, disagree, saying the ruling should apply nationwide.
GCSAA and its partners on the Waters Advocacy Coalition are seeking to clarify the breadth of this ruling, and will communicate that information as soon as it becomes available.
For more on yesterday's developments, see this story from The Hill.