A federal appeals court temporarily blocked an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that would subject more bodies of water to Clean Water Act permitting requirements.
Opponents of the Clean Water Rule say it’s so broad that it covers certain types of ditches, ponds and streams that only flow when it rains. They contend the rule makes it more difficult for property owners to make minor improvements and interferes with local land use decisions.
The EPA contends the regulation is necessary to protect streams and wetlands that feed America’s lakes and rivers.
The regulation was scheduled to go into effect Aug. 28, but 13 states won a preliminary injunction blocking the EPA from enforcing it. The agency contended, however, the rule was still in effect in other states.
On Friday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay blocking the rule from taking effect nationwide.
In its decision, the court said a stay “allows for a more deliberate determination” as to whether the EPA exceeded its authority when it issued the regulation and “temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new rule and whether they will survive legal testing.”
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