For Immediate Release
August 28, 2015
Des Moines - Many of you are aware that the final rule redefining Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) now called the Clean Water Rule will be in effect as of today, August 28, 2015. But not for the entire nation, only 37 states, including Iowa. The EPA has been partially blocked from implementing its new rule everywhere thanks to U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota, who granted an injunction for the 13 states that have filed a lawsuit against EPA in North Dakota. The ruling was just released at the very end of the day on Thursday. Judge Erickson noted in his decision that the states “have demonstrated that they will face irreparable harm” if the rule were to go into effect for them on Aug. 28.
How can the Obama Administration’s Clean Water Rule be in effect for some states but not others? Iowa is not a party in any of the 10 suits involving 31 states (to date), so the rule takes effect here today. These lawsuits represent agriculture, private property owners, businesses, chambers of commerce, energy companies, trade associations, manufacturers, home builders, forestry industry, road and transportation builders, real estate investors, and legal foundations, just to name a few.
In a statement, the EPA said the 13 states that obtained the preliminary injunction in N.D., are not subject to the new rule taking effect on Aug. 28. However, it said, for the remainder of the states, “in all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28.” It is uncertain if any additional pending injunction requests might be granted in the other 9 suits that have been filed against EPA.
The Agribusiness Association of Iowa (AAI) has been working for our members and for the agriculture community, by opposing this rule since its initial public comment period. AAI leadership has been in constant contact with many of the national agricultural groups in efforts to coordinate an united opposition to this rule because of the detrimental impacts it will have in Iowa and beyond.
National, state, and local agricultural groups including commodity organizations have been strongly opposed to the EPA’s regulatory overreach in this rule. In 2014, AAI launched its two pronged campaign to solicit member comments. AAI sent “SAY NO TO EPA” posters to our member retail locations that accompanied the American Farm Bureau's postcard “Ditch the Rule”. With added efforts of AAI, our members and the Iowa community was enabled to comment to the EPA.