Appellate court enacts nationwide stay on controversial expansion of Clean Water Act

New EPA rule suspended until court cases settled.

October 16, 2015 |

The EPA had expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” under the act to include smaller streams and other bodies of water. Photo: GinaD/Wikimedia Commons.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit enacted a nationwide stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s expanded Clean Water Act provisions.

The EPA had expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” under the act to include smaller streams and other bodies of water. The Sixth Circuit Court said in its ruling: “A stay temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new rule and whether they will survive legal testing.”

The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers will use their previous definitions of “waters of the U.S.” until federal courts sort out the validity of the expanded definition.

“We applaud the court for taking this action to suspend EPA’s water rule,” said National Association of Home Builders Chairman Tom Woods. “NAHB has been working diligently on the legislative and legal fronts to overturn this rule that raises housing costs, tramples states’ rights, and adds unnecessary regulatory burdens to small businesses.”

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