AFBF requests WOTUS nationwide stay

Conservation groups have issued a notice of intent to sue over the delay in the applicability date of the rule.

By Deana Stroisch

Waterway (1)

The American Farm Bureau Federation joined others recently asking a federal district court in Texas to issue a nationwide stay blocking the “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule.

The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court decided the U.S. Court of Appeals, which had issued the nationwide stay in 2015, lacked jurisdiction over legal challenges to the rule.

Meanwhile, groups of states, conservationists and environmentalists have challenged the two-year delay in the “applicability date” of the 2015 WOTUS rule. The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers amended the rule’s applicability date to prevent the old rule from going into effect before a new one is in place. Conservation groups issued a notice of intent to sue this week, citing violations of the Endangered Species Act.

“Every move by the agencies triggers new lawsuits to resurrect this hopelessly vague and dangerous rule,” AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen said. “If those lawsuits bring the 2015 rule into effect, even for short periods of time, dry ditches, drains and low spots on farm fields will be ‘dry land’ one day and a ‘water’ the next.”

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