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Natural Resources & Energy

Court Puts WOTUS Rule On Hold

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A federal environmental rule regulating waterways is on hold after a U.S. appeals court issued a nation-wide stay on Friday. 

The controversial Waters Of The United States rule regulates things like streams and wetlands. It was put in place last year to clear up confusion over what is covered under the federal Clean Water Act. But industries like agriculture and energy as well as individual farmers and ranchers argued that the scope of the so-called WOTUS rule made doing business costly and confusing. 

Mark Squillace, a law professor specializing in natural resources law at the University of Colorado said this latest development is a shame because many of our nations waters are in really bad shape.  

“So I think the continued bickering over the scope of the government's authority under the Clean Water Act is really unfortunate and really disserves this important goal of protecting our nation's waters,” Squillace said. 

In August, a federal district court granted a preliminary injunction against the WOTUS rule in response to a lawsuit filed by 12 states, including ND, WY, and  CO. 

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