Attorney General Doug Peterson says he is encouraged by a federal judge’s action against the Waters of the United States rule.
United States District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota has issued a temporary injunction against the WOTUS rule drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Peterson says it’s a big victory for Nebraska and the 12 other states which filed the lawsuit contending the EPA exceeded its Congressional authority in drafting WOTUS.
“One of the two most important things that the judge has to decide is whether or not we as the moving party have a substantial likelihood of success on our legal theory and he found, having evaluated the case and the arguments that we made, he said that he believed that we did have a substantial likelihood of success in showing legally that the EPA was going too far in how it was defining Waters of the U.S.,” Peterson tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The Waters of the United States rule was to go into effect today. It has gone into effect elsewhere in the country, though lawsuits have been filed by a number of states, businesses, even environmental groups throughout the country.
Peterson expects all those lawsuits to be combined into one.
“Now that’s not for sure. We suggest that they stay with the district courts, but the court may consolidate all of this into one district court for the whole country,” Peterson says.
Peterson says the decision by the North Dakota judge suspends the rule from going into effect in the 13 states while those states try to make their case in court.
“What we’ve basically been able to do for Nebraska and the 12 other states that joined that action in North Dakota is to put a hold on the EPA enforcing it in our 13 states.”