FEEDSTUFFS: WOTUS challenges continue in Texas, Georgia

A 2015 rule that expands the federal government’s control over private land nationwide should be vacated in its entirety, attorneys argued in papers filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and a broad coalition of business groups, along with the state of Texas and others, are suing to do away with the 2015 “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Plaintiffs say the rule is illegal for a host of reasons, including that it disregards statutory and Supreme Court requirements that federally regulated “waters” be at least closely connected to “navigable” water bodies. The 2015 rule instead regulates “vast tracts of the United States, including millions of miles of manmade ditches and municipal stormwater systems, dry desert washes and arroyos in the arid West and virtually all of the water-rich Southeast,” AFBF said.
“Because the rule violates the Constitution, the Clean Water Act and the Supreme Court’s precedents and is arbitrary and capricious under the APA [Administrative Procedures Act] — and in light of the devastating consequences that it would have on the economy — the rule must be vacated,” the filing noted.

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