Federal Court Blocks WOTUS Rule in 24 States

Last Wednesday a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration’s recently finalized Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) regulation. The ruling enjoins application of the rule in 24 states that had sued the federal government. In March, a federal court in Texas enjoined the rule in Texas and Idaho, bringing the total number of states where the WOTUS rule has been blocked to 26.

The WOTUS rule determines which wetlands fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. Builders need a federal dredge and fill permit if their projects affect those waters. The rule has been a source of confusion and controversy, with various administrations issuing their own versions of the regulation.