August 27, 2015
Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt issued the following statement on a U.S. District Court’s preliminary injunction preventing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new “Waters of the United States” rule from taking effect:
“Today’s preliminary injunction, as requested by Nevada and other states, reasserts the principle that the EPA cannot issue lawless mandates,” said Laxalt. “This important order, at a minimum, delays implementation of an unwise, unjustifiable and burdensome rule, and protects Nevada’s landowners, farmers and developers from job losses and increased energy prices, until the final rule can be comprehensively fought in court. I will continue to defend our jobs and families from overreach by the federal government.”
In June 2015, the EPA issued a regulation that defined federally regulated waters so broadly that it could include even rain-filled ditches and seasonal streams. Nevadans making use of these waters, even on their own property, will likely face onerous bureaucratic regulations and criminal penalties for permit violations. Nevada’s state and local government—democratically responsive and experienced—could be displaced.
Along with twelve other states, Nevada filed suit challenging the rule in federal court in North Dakota. Today a judge in that court held that the EPA “likely” exceeded its authorized powers and ignored essential procedural requirements—and, as a result, the judge prohibited enforcement of the rule until the case’s merits are fully litigated. The court agreed with Nevada and the other states that the “risk of irreparable harm” was “imminent” and that halting the rule served the “best interests of the public.”
The case (No. 3:15-cv-59, U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota) is one of ten lawsuits in federal court challenging the EPA’s rule. These cases involve more than seventy plaintiffs, including the states, industry groups and private entities.
In addition to Nevada, the following 30 states have sought action to enjoin or delay the EPA’s rule: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
To view the U.S. District Court's decision, click here.