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Federal Court Blocks EPA’s Waters Rule Nationwide

Federal Court Blocks EPA’s Waters Rule Nationwide

States continue to work at rolling back “unlawful power grab by the EPA”

In May, we covered the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule and just how far-reaching it is, and in August, the EPA decided that a federal injunction imposed in response to a suit filed by thirteen states didn’t apply nationally, stating that it applied only to those states that were parties in the case.  The EPA declared it would move forward with imposing the rule on the remaining fifty states.

Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit Court handed down its own ruling that blocked the waters rule nationwide.  The Hill reports:

In a 2-1 ruling, the Cincinnati-based Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit delivered a stinging defeat to Obama’s most ambitious effort to keep streams and wetlands clean, saying it looks likely that the rule, dubbed Waters of the United States, is illegal.

“We conclude that petitioners have demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims,” the judges wrote in their decision, explaining that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new guidelines for determining whether water is subject to federal control — based mostly on the water’s distance and connection to larger water bodies — is “at odds” with a key Supreme Court ruling.

The decision expands a stay that a North Dakota judge imposed in August, the day before the rule took effect, and that only applied to 13 states.

Apparently, the EPA is being forced to respect this decision (for now).  The Hill continues:

The EPA said it will respect the court’s decision, but it believes the rule is legal and necessary.

“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 said.

This isn’t, however, the final word on the Obama EPA’s waters rule.  After all, “the court still needs to go through the process of making a full ruling on it. After that, it can be appealed up to the Supreme Court.” For now, though, this is a welcome victory for conservatives who see this rule as an unprecedented—and unlawful—power grab.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, one of the challengers, said the court order ‘is certainly a win for Oklahoma, but the legal fight moves forward as we work diligently to roll back this unlawful rule.” He said the regulation “is a devastating blow to private property rights and is an unlawful power grab by the EPA.’”

Watch the following report on the Obama EPA’s waters rules, described as “the road to economic and regulatory hell”:


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Yep. ANOTHER good, hard bench-slap to the Obami.

Heh! And DOUBLE HEH!!!

Subotai Bahadur | October 10, 2015 at 5:41 pm

It is only a blow to the EPA and the regime if the regime decides to be bound by the court order.

    It’s not up to them. If the EPA issues orders to a landowner under the proposed regulations, the landowner will simply ignore it, and the EPA will not be able to sue them in any court.

Gee, if we only had a Speaker of the House who would refuse to fund this crap…

This is just the latest reason why the Rs need to grow up quick. Organize the House, and get serious about a presidential nominee who can win. I can’t be the only R-leaning independent who’s shocked and dismayed by the meltdown I am seeing.

    Valerie in reply to RandomCrank. | October 10, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    My initial reaction was dismay, too, but the boisterous jeering by the media talking heads made me stop and think: every time the Repubs have a battle royale amongst themselves, they come back with good policy.

    Ragspierre in reply to RandomCrank. | October 10, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    A coupla perhaps counterintuitive observations…

    1. you have what we call “turbulence” whenever you have change, and we REALLY want change in the House

    2. as in business, “creative destruction” is actually a good thing, though it can be a bitch for individual people going through it

    3. while I agree the Congress needs to get its act together, the states may be drawn into the vacuum. Which I think would be a bonnie, fine thing in the net.