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Rutledge Applauds Supreme Court WOTUS Decision


January 23, 2018

Says, ‘Today’s unanimous victory in the Supreme Court is a big win for Arkansans and proves the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot outwit the American legal system’

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge applauds today’s announcement by the Supreme Court to unanimously reverse the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and reaffirm Arkansas’s decision to challenge that rule in federal district court. In August 2015, Arkansas and 12 other states were successful in securing a nationwide injunction in the U.S. District Court of North Dakota which challenged the definition of “Waters of the United States,” (WOTUS) against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Today’s Supreme Court decision reaffirms the District of North Dakota’s authority to enjoin the unlawful WOTUS rule.

“Today’s unanimous victory in the Supreme Court is a big win for Arkansans and proves the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot outwit the American legal system” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The swift and strategic response of our coalition of attorneys general in 2015 was the best way to address the political agendas of our overreaching federal government.”

The original WOTUS rule was issued in June 2015 and allowed the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assert expansive federal authority over a vast number of small bodies of water, roadside ditches, short-lived streams and any other area where water may flow once every 100 years. The EPA has proposed to rescind the WOTUS rule, and Rutledge and colleagues from 24 states have also filed comments urging the EPA to fully eliminate the Obama-era rule and enforce the pre-existing WOTUS definition.

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