The National Association of Wheat Growers says it’s pleased by the action of the North Dakota district court late Thursday to block implementation of the Waters of the U.S. regulation. The parties involved in the temporary injunction will not be subject to the new rule, effective Friday, and instead will be subject to prior regulation.
The U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota granted an injunction for 13 states filing the legal action, including the Dakotas, Nebraska, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming.
Regarding the court’s action, NAWG President, Brett Blankenship made the following statement:
“This decision provides breathing room for grower concerns to be discussed in the courts without enforcement of the Environmental Protection Agency’s draconian new rule hanging over the heads of our nation’s family farmers.
We will watch closely the ongoing lawsuits and call on Congress to take action to address the regulation in a comprehensive manner. It is time for action to send the regulation back to the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to be rewritten. Wheat growers support clean water and know the importance of protecting the natural resources that sustain our farming operations, feed our families and feed a growing world population. The Waters of the U.S. regulation expands the reach of the Clean Water act and falls short in providing clarity to growers.”
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple issued a statement regarding court order to delay the effective date of the WOTUS rule.
“This is a very important ruling for the farmers and ranchers of North Dakota, and for the state as a whole,” Dalrymple said. “Until these intrusive rules can be remedied, it only makes sense that farmers be allowed to operate without unnecessary federal government interference.”
The office of North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer also released its thoughts on the injunction.
“The court’s decision to issue a temporary injunction is a victory in the first battle of a long war. North Dakota landowners and energy workers and their peers around the country will be temporarily spared the devastating consequences of an onerous rule. This is appropriate, given the judicial history of this issue and its impact on states and property rights. The injunction provides time for Congress to continue working toward a fix and for a complete judicial review of the legal merits of the rule.”
Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, also issued a statement:
“We support the judge’s decision in North Dakota, which should give the courts and the public more time to figure out how to proceed with WOTUS. The Army Corps of Engineers has stated this rule is not based on science or law and is unlikely to withstand a legal challenge. When even the federal agencies responsible for this rule can’t agree on its constitutionality, it’s time for EPA to withdraw the rule and start this process over.
From the beginning, we have asked for a rule that provides farmers with clarity and certainty about their responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. Instead, what we got was less clarity and less certainty – along with more paperwork, more permits, and more hassle.”