Farm group praises federal court for issuing stay against EPA water rule

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau  hailed the Sixth Circuit Court for halting enforcement of the controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule late last week.  The court issued a temporary stay until it determines whether it has jurisdiction over the petitions tied to a lawsuit filed by 13 states.

A federal court in August had issued a temporary injunction in North Dakota, but the injunction only covered the 13 states who were parties in the lawsuit.

“The rule is scientifically and legally flawed and clearly goes well beyond the authority granted to the agencies through the Clean Water Act," Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Rick Ebert said. "We are pleased that the court will have an opportunity to evaluate and understand the rule’s impact on farmers, businesses, local communities and other landowners. Under the broad definitions included in the pervasive WOTUS rule, virtually all of Pennsylvania’s land mass can be claimed by EPA officials as a ‘regulated water,’ subjecting landowners and communities to extreme and needless federal permitting requirements and land use restrictions.”

“Despite overwhelming evidence that WOTUS lacks legal and scientific credibility, which have been documented by the Army Corps of Engineers, EPA continues to aggressively push for the implementation of the rule," Ebert said. "It’s time for EPA to ditch the rule and begin a new conversation with farmers and other stakeholders, who are also interested in improving water quality."

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Pennsylvania Farm Bureau

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