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Where is EPA’s 2015 WOTUS Rule in Effect Now?

Posted on November 19,2018 by Roger Marks

shutterstock_53002780brighter.jpgLast month, a Federal judge in North Dakota granted Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ request to add Iowa to the list of states in which US EPA’s new Waters of the United States Rule is blocked pending the outcome of legislation.

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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.   


Georgia and Texas District Court WOTUS Decisions

In June 2018, a district court in Georgia issued an opinion that blocked the new WOTUS Rule in eleven more statesAlabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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.
 
BlockedWOTUS.jpg
 
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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