Lawsuit Filed By Georgia And 23 Other States Successfully Blocks Biden Admin’s WOTUS Rule

On Thursday, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced that a U.S. federal court had issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing or enforcing its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule in Georgia and 23 other states. 

As explained in a press release from Carr’s office, the WOTUS Rule “seeks to redefine ‘Waters of the United States,’ as that term is used in the Clean Water Act, to include virtually all water that is or has been, at some point, connected to interstate waters, including ponds, certain streams, ditches and ephemeral waters – as well as some waters that are purely intrastate. The district court held that the rule is likely unlawful, and indeed, ‘unintelligible’ in many respects.”

The ruling comes after Carr co-led a group of 24 states in filing the lawsuit against the EPA in February, asking that the WOTUS Rule be declared unlawful. 

According to the states, the “flawed and unlawful rule will affect farmers who may need to get permission from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to fill or dredge wetlands or waterways, depending on whether those features fall under the federal government’s purview. Developers, miners and other property owners wishing to make use of their land will face federal government regulations, too,” the press release added. 

“This outcome is a major win for Georgia’s farmers and private landowners, who were facing an administration intent on regulating nearly every conceivable body of water in the country,” said Carr. “For years, we have been on the forefront of this fight, and we are proud to have secured meaningful relief for hardworking Georgians across our state.”

Georgia was joined in the lawsuit by West Virginia, Iowa, North Dakota, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

D & B Staff

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Episode 63