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The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals placed a nationwide stay  on the Obama Administration’s controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) final rule on Oct. 9. The final rule, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) May 27, greatly expands the Administration’s jurisdiction over water and land uses across the country under the Clean Water Act.

The final rule is being challenged on the grounds that the federal agencies went further than the statute permits. In a split decision, the court explained, “A stay temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new rule and whether they will survive legal testing.” This comes after a recent decision by a North Dakota federal judge blocking implementation in 13 states.  

ABC has been a vocal opponent of the WOTUS rulemaking since it was first proposed in August 2014. The proposed rule also met heavy opposition from other industries within the business community, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives, and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.

ABC and more than 50 ABC chapters submitted comments urging the EPA to withdraw its proposed rule based on concerns that the regulation “will lead to a flood of unnecessary and excessive permitting requests with associated and equally unnecessary project delays and increased costs.” ABC also filed comments with a group of 375 trade associations led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Waters Advocacy Coalition.