A federal judge in North Dakota on Thursday blocked a new Obama administration rule that would give the federal government jurisdiction over some smaller waterways just hours before it was set to go into effect.
U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson in Fargo issued a temporary injunction requested by North Dakota and 12 other states halting the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers from regulating some small streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The rule, which has prompted fierce criticism from farmers among others, was scheduled to take effect Friday.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who filed the injunction request, said his reading of the ruling was that it applied to all 50 states, not just the 13 that sued. But the EPA said in a statement that it applied only to the 13 and it would be enforced beginning Friday in all other states.