Environmental -- active

Puget Soundkeeper Alliance v. Wheeler   (W.D. Wash.)

Challenge to delayed implementation of EPA's 2015 "Waters of the U.S." rule

On June 29, 2018, the NAM moved to intervene in a lawsuit by environmental groups that challenges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) efforts to invalidate EPA's delay of the 2015 "Waters of the United States" rule until February 2020. On February 6, 2018, the EPA issued a final rule that adds an applicability date of February 6, 2020, to the EPA’s 2015 rule governing jurisdictional "Waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act (2015 WOTUS rule). A coalition of environmental groups sued EPA to challenge the rule, arguing that EPA lacks the statutory authority to impose an applicability date. The applicability date rule is important to manufacturers because it precludes application of the 2015 WOTUS rule while EPA develops and issues a sensible replacement WOTUS rule. The 2015 WOTUS rule asserts federal jurisdiction over millions of acres of landscape features throughout the United States, triggering permitting requirements that will slow development and increase permitting costs on manufacturers. The rule’s vague and ambiguous terms also create confusion and increase the risk of inadvertent violations. The NAM moved to intervene in the litigation to help EPA defend the applicability date rule to allow EPA the necessary time to develop and issue a new WOTUS rule. The court granted our intervention on July 25, 2018. On November 26, 2018, the court held in the plaintiffs' favor and enjoined the delay rule nationwide. Another federal court in South Carolina had previously issued the same ruling, so there is no practical effect of this ruling on manufacturers.

Related Documents:
NAM Motion  (June 29, 2018)


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