District Court Issues Preliminary Injunction, Enjoining New Rule Redefining “Waters of the United States”


On August 27, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, Southeastern Division, issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the new rule jointly promulgated by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers redefining “Waters of the United States,” which is a linchpin of federal regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Twelve States, and representatives of New Mexico executive departments filed a lawsuit challenging the new rule, and also requested the issuance of a preliminary injunction.  Ruling that the new rule has only “an attenuated connection to any permitting process”, the District Court held that it had jurisdiction to hear this case, and that the plaintiffs demonstrated a substantial likelihood that they would succeed on the merits and met the other criteria necessary to obtain a preliminary injunction.  The case is State of North Dakota, et al., v. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.