0
0
0

  IROQUOIS BIO-ENERGY COMPANY, LLC  

 
- DTN Headline News
Court Stay Allows Water Rule Review
By Todd Neeley
Thursday, March 4, 2021 5:38PM CST

OMAHA (DTN) -- A federal court in South Carolina granted a 60-day stay in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asked for the stay from the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to allow more time to review the rule.

The lawsuit, brought by the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League in July 2020, https://www.dtnpf.com/…, would have the effect of "dramatically reducing the universe of waters protected" by the Clean Water Act.

In the motion granted by the court on Monday, the agencies said the additional time will allow for continued review of the rule, which is largely supported by agriculture groups.

Also playing into the court's decision is the pending Senate vote on EPA Administrator nominee Michael Regan, https://www.dtnpf.com/…, who told members of a Senate committee he intends to engage the agriculture community on the rule.

The Senate has yet to set a date for the vote on Regan's nomination.

In New Mexico, a lawsuit filed by the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association also has been stayed, https://www.dtnpf.com/…, by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.

The federal government said in its motion granted this week in South Carolina that the additional 60 days allows for more time for Regan to be confirmed and to review the rule.

"Here, though the agencies were hopeful that they would have an understanding as to how the new administration plans to approach the NWPR within the parties' first 30-day continuance," the government said in its motion, "it has become apparent that the review will necessarily take some additional time. Perhaps most importantly, the EPA administrator-designate, Michael Regan, has not yet been confirmed by the Senate. Indeed, at the committee hearing on Mr. Regan's confirmation, senators repeatedly raised questions about the NWPR, demonstrating the importance of this issue to the administration and the incoming administrator."

The government said that, because the water rule is 'significant,' the agencies' new leadership "should be afforded this opportunity to consider (and potentially reconsider) their approach to the NWPR before the court considers the merits of the pending summary judgment motions. It is at least possible that the agencies' review of the NWPR may ultimately lead to a significant modification or withdrawal of the rule."

While serving as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Regan objected to the Trump administration's Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

Regan was asked during a Feb. 3 hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works whether he supports a new WOTUS rule similar to the 2015 rule agriculture and other industries fought in court.

"There are a lot of lessons learned, pragmatic experiences or pragmatic solutions that we've learned from experiences," Regan said.

"I spent a lot of time with a lot of small farmers. I spent a lot of time with a lot of environmental groups, and what I would say is I'm looking forward to convening multiple stakeholder groups on how we chart a path forward. I don't believe that we have to sacrifice water quality at the expense of making sure that farmers, especially small farmers, have a fighting chance in this economy. I believe that you can do both."

Regan said he understands it is "difficult for any kind of federal regulation to truly address the unique agricultural needs" of different regions.

"So, I want a rule that moves forward, that's not overly burdensome, but gives the states the flexibility to protect water quality and protect the local agricultural economy," he said.

The navigable waters definition in the Clean Water Act has been the subject of numerous lawsuits.

The 2015 waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule in particular drew attention from states attorneys general, agriculture and other industry groups that challenged the rule based on concerns it expanded the federal government's reach onto private property, https://www.dtnpf.com/….

Agriculture, other industry groups and state governments across the country alleged the WOTUS rule expanded federal jurisdiction to waters not traditionally protected by the Clean Water Act.

Even prior to the completion of the WOTUS rule, farmers and ranchers faced uncertainty as to which waters were considered jurisdictional. So far, neither Congress, nor the EPA, has been able to make the law more understandable.

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN


blog iconDTN Blogs & Forums
DTN Market Matters Blog
Editorial Staff
Friday, March 5, 2021 12:20PM CST
Monday, March 1, 2021 10:39AM CST
Friday, February 26, 2021 11:00AM CST
Technically Speaking
Editorial Staff
Monday, March 1, 2021 8:50AM CST
Monday, February 22, 2021 8:21AM CST
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 9:38AM CST
Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin
DTN Contributing Analyst
Friday, February 26, 2021 7:10AM CST
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 9:07AM CST
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 10:18AM CST
DTN Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
Thursday, March 4, 2021 6:59AM CST
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 1:45PM CST
Monday, March 1, 2021 4:06PM CST
Minding Ag's Business
Katie Behlinger
Farm Business Editor
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 1:00PM CST
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 3:51PM CST
Thursday, February 11, 2021 4:33PM CST
DTN Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson
DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
Friday, March 5, 2021 11:35AM CST
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 12:02PM CST
Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:56AM CST
DTN Ethanol Blog
Editorial Staff
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 3:35PM CST
Friday, February 26, 2021 12:21PM CST
Friday, February 19, 2021 8:22AM CST
DTN Production Blog
Pam Smith
Crops Technology Editor
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 10:06AM CST
Friday, February 19, 2021 12:04PM CST
Monday, February 8, 2021 2:16PM CST
Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
Monday, March 1, 2021 5:05PM CST
Monday, March 1, 2021 5:05PM CST
Monday, February 22, 2021 3:23PM CST
South America Calling
Editorial Staff
Thursday, March 4, 2021 11:57AM CST
Thursday, February 25, 2021 12:58PM CST
Thursday, February 18, 2021 12:20PM CST
An Urban’s Rural View
Urban Lehner
Editor Emeritus
Monday, March 1, 2021 9:39AM CST
Friday, February 19, 2021 5:10AM CST
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 12:05PM CST
Machinery Chatter
Dan Miller
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Friday, March 5, 2021 2:12PM CST
Friday, March 5, 2021 2:12PM CST
Friday, February 26, 2021 11:20AM CST
Canadian Markets
Cliff Jamieson
Canadian Grains Analyst
Friday, March 5, 2021 2:50PM CST
Thursday, March 4, 2021 3:33PM CST
Thursday, March 4, 2021 3:33PM CST
Editor’s Notebook
Greg D. Horstmeier
DTN Editor-in-Chief
Thursday, December 31, 2020 8:57AM CST
Wednesday, December 2, 2020 12:37PM CST
Friday, September 4, 2020 3:48PM CST
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN