6th Circuit Court Vacates WOTUS Rule Stay

There is a new development in the never-ending saga that is the 2015 Clean Water Rule. Today, the 6th Circuit took the formal action of vacating its temporary injunction and dismissing all of the challenges to the rule.

Soon after the rule was finalized by the Obama Administration, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary injunction ensuring that the so-called “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule would not be enforced. The court also issued a ruling proclaiming that it had jurisdiction to hear all of the challenges to the rule.

On Jan. 22, the Supreme Court overruled the 6th Circuit, explaining that the initial challenges to the WOTUS rule must be heard in the federal district (trial) courts.

But not to fear: The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers saw this coming. So on Feb. 6, the agencies finalized a rule called Definition of “Waters of the United States”—Addition of an Applicability Date to 2015 Clean  Water Rule.” This rule adds an applicability date to the 2015 WOTUS Rule of Feb. 6, 2020.  Thus, the WOTUS rule is not to be applied until 2020.

Between now and 2020, NAHB will work with the Administration to craft a new WOTUS rule that does not exceed the bounds of the Clean Water Act and provides the clarity that our members need. For additional information, contact Tom Ward.

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  1. Emerson J. Clauss III says:

    As a long term member of NAHB and an outdoor enthusiast and environmentalist, I have long had issues with NAHB;s hard stance against any regulations. I think we should look at this law and not just challenge it blindly, because it has “regulations” and determine what parts we can live with and what hurts our industry. Not all of this hurts our industry… but does insure clean water for our future.

    • D Suggs says:

      While i will not be debating this in court, i am more that willing to debate this attempt of over zealous regulations. This law was an attempt at infringement on property rights of nearly all property owners who owned land with a trace amount of flowing waters, even during heavy rains. The over reach of this definition and its intended consequences was almost immeasurable in its ability to allow regulations by anyone in the govt departments or any environmental group wanting to stop any (insert every) new activities of construction. It was regulations on steroids of monumental efforts.

  2. Al Zichella says:

    WOTUS over-reach has been a problem for decades. The definition of what consists of the Waters of the United States has been dishonestly and cynically applied. It is a brazen and unfair land grab around the constitution and personal property rights. Further, it is the perfect example of unbridled power assemblage by a Federal Agency. President Obama and his administration were endlessly pandering to the Environmental left when they added the new definitions to what was already a joke. Make no mistake, this is about preventing growth and development, (and gaining political power), not about clean water. No thinking person could consider the definitions as anything else but a sham. When any isolated wetland and mud puddle on a farm can be considered “navigable” waterways, you know it for what it is, a shameless attempt to gain political points from the Environmental crowd, who want to control everyone’s land without buying it.

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