South Dakota Joins in Filing Preliminary Injunction in Waters of the U.S. Case (WOTUS)
PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the State of South Dakota and all of the twelve states challenging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the Western Region have filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the Water of the United States (WOTUS) case.
“The EPA and Corps of Engineer’s failure to timely respond to the States’ request to delay the implementation of the Rule has unfortunately necessitated the need to seek further court intervention,” said Jackley. “Our concerns continue to be that these agencies are overstepping their Congressional authority and that our State will be losing considerable decision making control over our waters and land use. The new Rule is creating uncertainty for our agriculture and business community that needs to have fairness and a degree of common sense in federal regulation.”
The States are actively seeking postponement of the impending implementation of the WOTUS Rule while the courts have the opportunity to fully address the states’ concerns. On June 29, 2015, twelve states filed in federal district court in North Dakota asking the court to vacate the new rule and bar the EPA and the USACE from enforcing the new definition. Several other states have filed in their respective regions. The states contended the new definition of WOTUS violated provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the United States Constitution. Then on July 30, 2015, 31 states requested that the EPA and USACE delay the effective date of the new Rule defining “Waters of the United States” under the CWA. The Rule is currently set to go into effect on August 28, 2015. The States requested the Rule not be implemented for a period of at least nine months in order to give the courts time to review the legal challenges to the Rule.