Federal District Court Blocks EPA Rule From Taking Effect Tomorrow

Attorney General Tim Fox is gratified that U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson, of the District of North Dakota, has granted the request of the State of Montana and 12 other states to enjoin the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of the United States” Rule. The states had asked that the Rule’s August 28, 2015 effective date be delayed due to the irreparable harm it would cause the states.

In today’s order, Judge Erickson agreed that the rule should be delayed during the on-going litigation, stating “the states are likely to succeed on their claim because (1) it appears likely that the EPA has violated its Congressional grant of authority in its promulgation of the Rule at issue and (2) it appears likely the EPA failed to comply with APA requirements when promulgating the Rule.”

The states’ challenge to the rule itself still needs to be briefed, argued, and decided by the courts, but this injunction will maintain the status quo until the case is fully decided.

“As Montanans, we are proud of the steps we have taken under our State’s constitution and laws, to manage and protect our state’s precious natural resources, including water,” said Attorney General Fox. “Today’s ruling is an important and substantive step in protecting our rights under the Tenth Amendment to manage and protect our state’s lands and resources in the manner we believe to be most fitting and effective for us.”

View the preliminary injunction order here: https://dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/Water-of-the-US-Prliminary-Injunction-Order.pdf