Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation statement on Judge’s Decision to block WOTUS rule

Aug. 27, 2015–A preliminary injunction was issued today by a federal district court judge in North Dakota, blocking implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) controversial “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.  The injunction keeps the rule from taking effect tomorrow, Aug. 28.

The State of Wyoming along with eleven other states and two New Mexico state agencies filed the lawsuit. 

 “We are very grateful that this court issued this injunction,” stated Ken Hamilton, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Executive Vice President.  “We’ve always felt the rule had been improperly promulgated and went beyond the scope of the Clean Water Act.”

“This rule is a land grab that puts property rights of Wyomingites, and all Americans, at risk and does nothing to benefit water,” stated Perry Livingston, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation President.  “It is tremendously important that this regulatory overreach be turned back so that states can utilize the Clean Water Act as Congress intended.”

“The fact that this injunction has been granted clearly indicates that this Court feels the Plaintiffs have a good chance of making their case stick,” Hamilton concluded.

In a press release, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead expressed he is pleased with the court’s decision.  “I requested that EPA withdraw this rule from the beginning. It was badly flawed then and remained badly flawed throughout the rulemaking process,” Governor Mead said.   

“The EPA failed to properly consult states or consider states’ concerns. The proposed rule unlawfully seeks to expand federal jurisdiction over water, undercuts state primacy and burdens landowners and water users in the West. It is unreasonable and cannot stand,” Governor Mead concluded.

The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, along with other groups, filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the state’s lawsuit.  The judge approved the amicus curiae in mid-Sept.

The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization.  The primary goals of the organization are to protect private property rights and help members achieve an equitable return on their investment.  Visit www.wyfb.org.

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