WASHINGTON, October 9, 2015– On Friday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit based in Cincinnati issued a nationwide stay blocking the Obama administration’s highly controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency.
State legislators from across the country believe the rule violates the Tenth Amendment and sets a dangerous precedent for federal intrusion. In total, more than 30 states have sought legal action against the rule.
“A stay temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new rule and whether they will survive legal testing,” the court said.
In July, Tennessee State Representative Sheila Butt (R-Columbia) led a successful campaign to join Tennessee to the case presented to the Sixth Circuit.
[pull_quote_center]”It’s important to realize that this rule would give the federal government unprecedented powers over property owners, farmers and businesses. Even a puddle of water in your driveway could be subject to federal investigation. In addition, this rule presents a massive negative impact to our states’ economy and sovereignty,” said Butt. “I’m thankful for the Court’s ruling, but the fight isn’t over just yet.”[/pull_quote_center]
This isn’t the first federal ruling against the EPA’s new rule. In August, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson issued an injunction against the rule one day before it was set to begin. However, the EPA largely ignored the ruling and charged ahead with implementation regardless of the Court’s ruling. The EPA claimed the ruling didn’t apply nationwide, even though legal scholars and legislators around the country disagreed. Thursday’s ruling sought to make clear to the EPA that the WOTUS rule could no longer be implemented until further legal ruling had settled the petitioners’ concerns.