Judge Blocks New Federal Rule On Jurisdiction Of Waterways in Western States

Aug 27, 2015

Credit Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

A federal judge in North Dakota has blocked a new rule that would give the federal government jurisdiction over some state waters.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota issued a temporary injunction Thursday against the Obama administration rule. The rule gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers authority to protect some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

Thirteen states led by North Dakota asked Erickson to suspend guidelines they say are unnecessary and infringe on state sovereignty. The federal government says the new rule clarifies ambiguity in the law and makes it easier for the states to manage some waterways.

The other states involved are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming.