The American Farm Bureau Federation and a broad coalition of business organizations have notified the federal district court in South Carolina they will appeal that court’s Aug. 16 ruling that revived what the group called the overbroad, vague and illegal 2015 Waters of the United States Rule and made it the law of the land in 26 states. In a separate filing, the same coalition also notified a federal district court in Texas of the ruling by the court in South Carolina, urging the Texas-based court to issue a nationwide injunction against the illegal 2015 WOTUS Rule.
Two other federal district courts have already granted injunctions blocking the WOTUS Rule in a total of 24 states, citing immediate and “irreparable injuries” likely to result from the rule’s implementation. “That is all the more true for the plaintiffs before this (Southern Texas) Court,” the notice stated. “Allowing the WOTUS Rule to come into effect in 26 States will prove enormously disruptive to their operations, and indeed to the entire national economy.”
The decision out of South Carolina purports to block nationwide an Environmental Protection Agency rule that delayed application of the WOTUS Rule pending the agency’s ongoing consideration of whether to repeal the rule. As a result of the court decision, the 2015 WOTUS Rule is now the law of the land in the 26 states that are not already protected by court injunctions preventing the rule’s implementation while its lawfulness is decided by the courts.
Farmers, ranchers and others in those 26 states are now faced with “immediate irreparable harm,” according to the Southern Texas filing. “Important and consequential national regulations like the WOTUS Rule should not apply differently depending on the happenstance of location.” The groups urge the court not to allow a “crazy-quilt regulatory environment” and to grant a nationwide injunction against the 2015 WOTUS Rule “as expeditiously as possible.”
Download the Southern District of Texas filing online.