Federal Court Stops WOTUS Rule Implementation
Arvada, CO – August 28, 2015 Yesterday’s ruling by Chief District Judge, Ralph R. Erickson delays the implementation of the Waters of the United States rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). For the thirteen states, including Colorado, that have filed suit against the EPA and the Corps; this injunction is the first step. It prevents the Rule from going into effect until a final court ruling on the entire rule is made, or until the injunction is successfully appealed.The judge granted a preliminary injunction on the basis that suits brought by the group of states had a “fair chance of success” in that “it appears likely that the EPA has violated its Congressional grant to authority in its promulgation of the Rule at issue.” The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association has long held that the Rule, as written, oversteps the EPA regulatory authority. Many in the agricultural community consider the final rule to be subjective, and believe it places critical determinations of jurisdiction in the hands of federal regulators; leaving landowners uncertain of what will and will not be regulated.“CCA supports the injunction as a prudent step in returning the needed oversight of EPA in the matter, and appreciates that the injunction was granted in time to stop the WOTUS rule from taking effect,” says CCA President Bob Patterson. “On behalf of CCA, I would like to extend our gratitude to Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman for working diligently to protect the interests of ranching in Colorado. We can all be proud that Colorado is one of the 13 states that brought about this injunction.”CCA has expressed concerns about the rule-making process for WOTUS since the early stages. “The EPA remained arbitrary, vague and inconclusive; going so far as to say that our irrigation ditches and ponds would be regulated under this rule. The regulated communities were not given credence in this process; there was no common sense involved in this rule,” says Patterson.Ranchers and agricultural producers across Colorado are now being asked to contact their congressional representatives to act now and remand this rule back to the EPA; and require the Agency to address the ambiguity and overreach in this rule. Everyone in this state relies on a clean, safe water supply; those who make their living off the land know that better than others, and they stand to be the ones most greatly impacted by the Rule. Please ask the President and Congress to listen to our concerns and allow sound science and common sense to play a role in the implementation of WOTUS.Resources for contacting the White House or members of Congress can be found on the CCA website at http://coloradocattle.org/actionalerts.aspx, along with more information about WOTUS and its potential impact on agriculture.
Colorado Cattlemen’s Association is the premier cattlemen’s association that serves as the principle voice and advocate for Colorado beef production by ensuring a dynamic and profitable industry that promotes growth and opportunity for future generations. Our commitment lies within these core competencies: Government Affairs – Issue Management – Communication and Outreach – Member Services and Benefits.