The District of Arizona court ruled to vacate the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) this week. However, what the decision means for the rule is one of many questions yet to be answered. Three courts have refused to dismantle the NWPR, including last month when a federal court in South Carolina refused a similar request from plaintiff groups.
“This ruling casts uncertainty over farmers and ranchers across the country and threatens the progress they’ve made to responsibly manage water and natural resources,” American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall said.
Duvall says the AFBF is reviewing the ruling to determine the next course of action. Earthjustice sued the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers in the Arizona case. An Earthjustice attorney states the ruling allows “the Clean Water Act to continue to protect all of our waters while the Biden administration develops a replacement rule.”
The ruling comes just days ahead of the deadline for comments regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to rewrite WOTUS.