Actual good news: U.S. 6th Circuit blocks EPA water rule nationwide

Actual good news: U.S. 6th Circuit blocks EPA water rule nationwide
A seasonal pond in California, now to be wholly owned by the EPA.

[Ed. – Some days, you and the bear enjoy an armed truce — at least until the sun comes up.]

Several weeks ago, a federal court issued an injunction against EPA enforcement of a new rule based on the Clean Water Act, arguing that the Obama administration had exceeded its Congressional authority. The ruling only applied in the thirteen states party to the lawsuit, however, but the administration still argued that the North Dakota court did not have the jurisdiction to rule on the issue, and that only an appellate court could hear the case. Regardless, the EPA announced shortly afterward that it would continue to enforce the new rule in all other states.

Be careful what you wish for. The Sixth Circuit handed down its own injunction against the rule today, and broadened its effect to all 50 states:

A federal court ruled Friday that President Obama’s regulation to protect small waterways from pollution cannot be enforced nationwide.

In a 2-1 ruling, the Cincinnati-based Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit delivered a stinging defeat to Obama’s most ambitious effort to keep streams and wetlands clean, saying it looks likely that the rule, dubbed “waters of the United States,” is illegal. …

The court called into question both the rule itself and the process by which the EPA promulgated it. …

Furthermore, the court expresses concern over what appeared to be a bait-and-switch in the comments process, and that the EPA simply cannot substantiate the rule with any solid science — a point made by the North Dakota court in August, too…

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