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Attorney General Hunter Renews Challenge to Obama-Era WOTUS Rule

Attorney General Hunter Renews Challenge to Obama-Era WOTUS Rule

TULSA – Attorney General Mike Hunter has taken action in response to a South Carolina federal judge’s ruling that overturned Pres. Donald Trump’s attempt to delay the contentious Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

The judge’s decision reinstates the 2015 WOTUS rule immediately in Oklahoma and 25 other states.

On Friday, the attorney general led an alliance of organizations representing businesses in filing a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, asking a judge to grant an injunction to prevent the enforcing of the WOTUS rule while the legality of the rule is determined. Federal courts across the country have already granted similar injunctions in 24 other states.

Attorney General Hunter said he vows to stand up for the rights of property owners in the state, who will be impacted by this burdensome rule.

“The illegal WOTUS rule is nothing more than bureaucratic overreach and places unnecessary federal requirements on hard working Oklahomans,” Attorney General Hunter said. “This decision creates extreme regulatory ambiguity and negatively impacts farmers, ranchers and the rights of private property owners in the state and nation. Hopefully, the northern district will act quickly to prevent the enforcement of this impractical rule.”

The 2015 WOTUS rule expanded the federal government’s authority to regulate virtually all land and bodies of water across the United States. Prior to the rule change, the federal government’s jurisdiction was limited to interstate waters, or large bodies of water.

In the brief, Attorney General Hunter concludes: 

“These deprivations are unlawful because the broadened definition of “waters of the United States” exceeds the agencies’ authority under the Clean Water Act, the APA, the Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment,” the attorney general writes. “Unless this rule is enjoined as it has been elsewhere, plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm that cannot be remedied by a final judgment.”

To read the motion, click here