Where is EPA’s 2015 WOTUS Rule in Effect Now?
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While Iowa was not originally party to the suit—decided in a North Dakota district court in 2015—Governor Reynolds requested that Iowa be added to the injunction that resulted from that case. The North Dakota decision blocked the WOTUS Rule in thirteen states—Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado. Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. We can now add Iowa to that list.
The hotly contested 2015 Waters of the United States Rule essentially expanded EPA’s authority to regulate rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water under the Clean Water Act. EPA is now working to replace that Obama-era change with another new definition of “Waters of the United States” that provides more clarity regarding which waters are covered under regulation, and which are not.
In June 2018, a district court in Georgia issued an opinion that blocked the new WOTUS Rule in eleven more states—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Georgia and Texas District Court WOTUS Decisions
A Federal judge in Texas acted next, issuing a district court ruling to block the 2015 WOTUS Rule in three additional states—Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
For those keeping score at home, WOTUS is now blocked in twenty-eight states and in effect in the remaining twenty-two states. In states where the 2015 Rule is blocked, EPA’s less expansive 1988 definition of “Waters of the United States” remains in effect.
BLOCKED (1988 WOTUS Rule in Effect): Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
EFFECTIVE (2015 WOTUS Rule in Effect): California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, as well as Washington, D.C. and all US Territories.
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