Injunction Granted Against the EPA’s WOTUS Rule Preventing Implementation Tomorrow

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August 27, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – The U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota has granted Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and 12 other States’ motion to put in place a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule defining “Waters of the United States.” The States had asked that the rule’s Aug. 28, 2015 effective date be delayed due to the irreparable harm it would cause. This injunction stops the WOTUS rule from going into effect and prevents the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from enforcing the rule until it can be fully litigated.

“Today’s ruling from the District Court is an important victory for Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “EPA’s WOTUS rule goes beyond the scope intended by Congress when it passed the Clean Water Act. At the very least, until these facts can be fully litigated in court, it is important that this damaging rule not harm Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers. This injunction is an important first step in a legal battle to show that the EPA exceeded its authority.”

In today’s order, Federal District Court Judge Ralph Erickson agreed that the rule should be delayed during the ongoing litigation, stating “the States are likely to succeed on their claim because (1) it appears likely that the EPA has violated its Congressional grant of authority in its promulgation of the rule at issue and (2) it appears likely the EPA failed to comply with APA requirements when promulgating the rule.” 

A copy of the injunction is available by clicking here.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on Nov. 4, 2014, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office.

Rutledge, a native of Batesville, Arkansas, is a graduate of Southside High School, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She began her legal career as Clerk for Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, now Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She was appointed Deputy Counsel for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and later served as Legal Counsel on the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. She served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and in subsequent service as Attorney for the State of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. She also served as Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee before joining the Republican National Committee as Counsel. Prior to her election as Attorney General, she founded and practiced law at The Rutledge Firm, PLLC. Rutledge lives in Little Rock.

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