In a 2-1 decision the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay against enforcement of the Waters of the U.S. rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE).
The court concluded that the rule has already been stayed in 13 states and that a nationwide stay would help maintain nationwide uniformity while the rule is litigated in court. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee called the Sixth Circuits order to suspend “a victory for all states, local governments, farmers, ranchers, and landowners. The EPA and Army Corps admitted in February before Congress that the proposed rule was flawed and ambiguous, yet the agencies continued forward and finalized the rule in May. Instead of fixing the overreach, EPA made it broader.” Inhofe went on to say that the litigation over the WOTUS rule will likely take several years to conclude.
The WOTUS rule would have significantly impacted agriculture in Sacramento County, with 100% of lands being considered jurisdictional, farmers and ranchers would have been in violation for simple routine farming practices like weed spraying.
While this not over, the stay provides opportunity for the court system to get answers about over reaching authority of EPA and Army Corp of Engineers.
Source: Sacramento Farm Bureau