Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.


Court upholds Trump water rule

The U.S. District Court of South Carolina last week dismissed a challenge to the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which in 2020 replaced the Obama administration’s controversial 2015 Waters of the United States rule known by the acronym WOTUS.

The Biden administration announced its intentions to revise the definition of waters of the U.S. under the Clean Water Act on June 9, with the Department of Justice filing a motion requesting remand of the Trump rule.

Led by the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, the environmental groups asked the court to vacate the Navigable Waters Protection Rule based on what they said were the indisputable facts, including lost protection for waters.

That would have eliminated the Trump rule and allowed the WOTUS rule to remain in effect. The court’s decision allows the Trump rule to remain in effect until the Biden administration finalizes a new rule.

The Coastal Conservation League’s challenge is one of 15 cases nationwide opposing the Trump rule.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, along with other agricultural groups, is engaged in litigation across the country to defend the Trump rule and considers last week’s decision a key legal victory.

The decision ensures regulatory certainty while the Biden administration moves through the lengthy rulemaking process, said Scott Yager, NCBA chief environmental counsel.

The gravy on top was the judge’s outright dismissal of the entire case, as it was the leading case in opposition to the Trump rule — farther ahead procedurally than the other cases, he said.

He thinks other judges will see the decision as influential and put the other cases to bed as well, he said.

“This is the latest example of courts, by and large, seeing the Trump rule as legally defensible,” he said.

That’s in contrast to the Obama WOTUS rule, which has been struck down by multiple courts as being illegal under the Administrative Procedures Act and the Clean Water Act, he said.

“This decision overall is a great legal victory for landowners and land users across the country,” he said.

NCBA knows the Biden administration is going to come up with its own rule, but the court’s decision gives the organization another year or two to work with the administration and Congress, he said.

NCBA’s message to Biden is that he create a new rule that doesn’t hinder producers’ ability to make investments in their land and care for their cattle.

EPA’s Office of Water held a call with agricultural stakeholders the day after the announcement of its intention to revise the Trump rule, and there was a short opportunity for stakeholders to chime in on the call, he said.

“It was good that they did the outreach, but what we heard was concerning. They’re posturing to repeal the Trump rule and replace it with a more expansive Biden rule,” he said.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

Home Contact


              Page Updated: Sunday July 25, 2021 02:21 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2001 - 2021, All Rights Reserved