FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 1, 2017
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms that President Trump signed an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps Engineers (Corps) to review their rule defining “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS Rule) under the Clean Water Act.
“The State Attorneys General have led the fight to protect our agricultural and business communities from the EPA’s overreach,” stated Jackley. “I appreciate the President’s recognition of the attempted overreach by the EPA and the Corps on WOTUS, and am hopeful that these federal agencies will draft a new rule, which will recognize states’ rights.”
South Dakota previously joined 12 other states on August 11, 2015, challenging the EPA and the Corps.
The States actively sought postponement of the impending implementation of the WOTUS Rule while the courts could fully address the states’ concerns. On June 29, 2015, thirteen states filed in federal district court in North Dakota asking the court to vacate the new rule and bar the EPA and the Corps from enforcing the new definition. Several other states have filed in their respective regions. The states contended the new definition of WOTUS violated provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the United States Constitution. Then on July 30, 2015, 31 states requested that the EPA and Corps delay the effective date of the new Rule defining “Waters of the United States” under the CWA.
On August 27, 2015, the Federal Court issued a preliminary injunction to delay the Rules implementation until the Court has an opportunity to fully review the administrative record. The Court found that it was likely that the EPA violated its grant of authority when it promulgated the Rule and likely failed to comply with the requirements in the Administrative Procedures Act. Finally, the Court found the risk of harm to the States is great.