Dammed up: Federal judge stops flow of Biden administration WOTUS rule in 24 additional states

The ruling comes after President Biden promptly vetoed the congressional resolution passed by the House and the Senate to overturn the rule. 

Two dozen additional states have been added to the growing docket of jurisdictions no longer under the Biden administration Waters of the United States rule.  

More than half the country is now exempt from the policy as the group of 24 joins Texas and Idaho, which were already exempt from the rule thanks to an earlier ruling. 

The outcome is a result of a decision handed down from North Dakota District Court Judge Daniel Hovland, who granted the petition for preliminary injunction, prohibiting the enforcement, implementation or application of the rule. 

“Beginning with President Obama, and furthered by President Biden, it is the environmentalist’s dream to regulate our water to the raindrop,” says Senator Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota. “Once again North Dakota is among the leaders in the fight to remind them such actions are illegal. Thanks to Attorney General [Drew] Wrigley, our state is spared from federal mediocrity.”  

Biden’s rule has faced opposition from both sides of the aisle as both the House and Senate passed a congressional resolution with bipartisan support that would have overturned the rule nationwide earlier this month.  

“States and local communities — not the federal government — know best how to manage their lands and waters, and we should keep it that way,” Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah said at the time of the Senate passage. “The Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule will impose harmful and burdensome regulations on Utah’s farmers, ranchers and landowners. I’m proud that my colleagues came together to oppose this blatant federal power grab of our nation’s waters.” 

Biden vetoed the resolution April 6.  

“I just vetoed a bill that attempted to block our administration from protecting our nation’s waterways — a resource millions of Americans depend on — from destruction and pollution,” President Biden wrote on Instagram. “Let me be clear: Every American has a right to clean water. This veto protects that right.” 

The WOTUS saga doesn’t appear to end Biden’s veto, however, as House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves, R-Missouri, and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer, R-North Carolina, published a statement describing their readiness to overturn the veto. 

“While President Biden bows to the demands of radical environmentalists at the expense of hard-working Americans, Congress came together — on a bipartisan basis — to stand up for families, farmers and entire communities by rejecting his flawed ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule,” Rouzer said. “I urge all of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to join us in overriding this veto so we can terminate this ambiguous, onerous and burdensome rule. Failing to do so will only make it harder to farm, build and generate economic prosperity at a time when it is sorely needed.” 

Read more about WOTUS. 

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