Back in May, various environmental groups asked a federal court to vacate the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) enacted during the Trump Administration. The motion, filed in a South Carolina U.S. District Court, asked the court to vacate the rule based on what they call undisputed facts, including what they say has been lost protection for U.S. waters.
But last week, that Court dismissed the NWPR challenge, ensuring the rule remains in effect until the Biden Administration finalizes a new rule. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), along with other agricultural groups, are pleased with this key legal victory.
“The NWPR is a major improvement to the widely overreaching 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule,” said NCBA Chief Environmental Counsel Scott Yager. “NCBA has long fought to protect private property rights and oppose the unnecessary expansion of federal jurisdiction over isolated and temporary water features. This decision is a victory for America’s cattle producers, ensuring regulatory certainty while the Biden Administration moves through the lengthy rulemaking process. Moving forward, NCBA will continue engaging with the Biden Administration, Congress, and the Courts to protect cattle producers’ property rights.”
Agriculture groups support the current rule because they say it simplifies questions about the Clean Water Act jurisdiction that farmers face on their land. Of course the Biden administration continues to review the existing NWPR rule.