The controversial “Waters of the Unites States” rule advanced by the US Environmental Protection Agency is now in effect in 37 states, including Maryland. Western states subject to litigation have been blocked from instituting the nationwide rule.
From coverage in The Hill:
Friday marks 60 days after the rule, known as the Clean Water Rule, was published in the Federal Register and the day that the agency planned to start enforcement along with the Army Corps of Engineers.
In response to a petition from 13 states, a North Dakota federal judge temporarily blocked the rule’s implementation late Thursday, ruling that the states would likely suffer if it took effect and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided.
But the EPA is interpreting the North Dakota decision to apply only in the states involved in the litigation.
“The Clean Water Rule is fundamental to protecting and restoring the nation’s water resources that are vital for our health, environment, and economy,” EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said. “EPA and the Department of the Army have been preparing to implement the rule on the effective date of August 28.”
The preliminary injunction, Harrison said, applies only in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
“In all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28,” she said. “The agencies are evaluating these orders and considering next steps in the litigation.”