Bismarck, North Dakota — After the EPA tried to suspend the Obama-era “Waters of the United States” or WOTUS rule, a federal court ruled that the EPA couldn’t do that in August. Now another federal court has issued an injunction, halting the enforcement of the WOTUS rule for now in Iowa and twelve other states.
The WOTUS rule outlines six types of waterways that the E-P-A and the Army Corps of Engineers say are subject to federal Clean Water Act regulation. The Iowa Farm Bureau has suggested 97 percent of the land mass in Iowa could face Clean Water Act regulation if the rule goes back into effect.
The U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota granted Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ request to stop the rule on Tuesday, September 18th.
Reynolds says she is pleased the court granted the request to halt the WOTUS Rule in Iowa. She says that Iowa farmers and small business owners will not be burdened by this “federal overreach while we continue fighting to permanently end the WOTUS Rule.”
The court ordered the preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by Reynolds, 12 states and two agencies of a 13th state against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The WOTUS Rule is now on hold in 25 states.
Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg of Hawarden says that the WOTUS rule “interferes with our local and state solutions to improve Iowa’s water quality.”
The rule went back into effect in Iowa last month when a federal court in South Carolina ruled the EPA could not suspend the WOTUS Rule. The court reinstated the rule in any state (like Iowa) where it had not yet been preliminarily enjoined.
Governor Reynolds says she will continue to pursue the federal lawsuit in cooperation with other plaintiff states to permanently overturn the rule.