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Judge overturns WOTUS delay; now law in 26 states

A district court judge in South Carolina overturned the Trump Administration’s attempt to delay implementation of the “Waters of the U.S. Rule,” or WOTUS. The Hill Dot Com says the Obama-era rule is immediately law in 26 states as the judge’s ruling put an exemption on the administration’s suspension rule.

The U.S. District Court in South Carolina decided the Environmental Protection Agency did not follow rule-making procedures in suspending WOTUS implementation. The judge says EPA did not give an adequate public notice and comment period as stipulated by the Administrative Procedures Act. The court wrote in its decision that, “As administrations change, so do their priorities. But the requirements of the APA remain the same.

The Court finds that the government failed to comply with these requirements in implementing the suspension rule.” A federal judge had previously granted the other 24 states the ability to get out of WOTUS regulations. Environmental groups like the Sierra Club hailed the decision as a victory for communities across the country. The EPA says it will look at the order before determining its next steps.