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Judge delays date for fed's reign over water

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has announced that U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson recently issued an order in delaying the effective date of the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers' "Waters of the United States" Rule in Arizona and 12 other states. The rule was originally scheduled to take effect Aug. 28.

Arizona previously joined with 12 other states in a legal challenge asking the federal court to delay the effective date of the WOTUS Rule because of the irreparable harm it would cause the states.

Brnovich contends that the EPA's expansion of federal authority over Arizona waters is unlawful and that the agency failed to follow its required procedures.

"This ruling is an important first step in preventing federal overreach under the guise of environmental protection," he said. "It is critical that states like Arizona and our state coalition partners continue to make principled stands against federal overreach and to preserve the rule of law."

In support of the states' claims that the EPA's final rule harmed states' interests, the state of Arizona offered testimony that the state would be irreparably harmed by the final rule due to the time, resources and increased costs necessary to comply with the rule's dramatic increase in permitting requirements for the Arizona Department of Transportation.

In addition to Arizona, the states exempted for now are Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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Original Publication Date: September 9, 2015

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