Federal judge blocks administration’s ‘Clean Water Rule’ waterways power-grab.

It’s entertaining to see how ABC portrayed this, if your definition of ‘entertaining’ includes ‘being presented with obnoxiously slanted material:’

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota issued a temporary injunction against a the rule, which gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers authority to protect some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The rule was scheduled to take effect Friday.

“The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely,” Erickson said in blocking the rule from taking effect.

Yes, Judge Erickson would be generally correct, there.  Basically, the Clean Water Rule is a big step forward in the Obama administration’s ongoing attempts to neuter state governments: to quote Forbes, it “defines “waters of the U.S.” to include virtually any wet area — even a rain-fed temporary pool — that is close to any other body of water with a physical connection to a navigable waterway.” Naturally, the states freaked out – and note that this is a temporary injunction, not a final decision. We’re going to the Supreme Court, folks. On the other hand, Forbes was mordantly expecting that there wouldn’t be an injunction in the first place*, so the forces of limited government are already ahead on points on this one. Or at least is back to being tied on the scoreboard.

By the way: the Obama administration has nobody but themselves to blame for the abysmal reputation that is fueling the reaction to this lawsuit. An administration that didn’t routinely grab every scrap of regulatory and executive power for itself might have been able to present a plan for water use and not have it immediately spawn a plethora of lawsuits.  Emphasis on might; the apparent need to redefine temporary pools of ditch-water as ‘wetlands’ sounds inherently suspect. But the administration has done itself no favors with its past actions.

Via @AnthonyAdragna.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*The very short version on this is that there are at least ten lawsuits going on, here: and a federal judge in West Virginia declined today to issue a temporary injunction for the case in her district, citing jurisdictional issues (all the cases are to be consolidated, and heard by the Sixth Circuit’s Court of Appeals). A judge in Georgia did the same.  …Not that it matters, because the North Dakota injunction throws a monkey wrench in the gears anyway.

14 thoughts on “Federal judge blocks administration’s ‘Clean Water Rule’ waterways power-grab.”

  1. Off topic … except for the fact that this appeared in the blog post above:
    Special: Stephen Hawking Says “Smart Drug” Proven to Double IQ
    I’ve registered mild annoyance at the inline ads, but what the heck, it’s your blog and successfully monetizing it is a Good Thing. I’m generally in favor of things that make people I like filthy rich … or even give them a little spare change.
    Most of these ads are puffery and clickbait. But doesn’t this one qualify as outright fraud? How can it enhance your credibility if stuff like this is embedded in stuff that’s worth reading?

    Not my circus, not my monkeys … but as Archie Bunker used to say, “A word to the wise is efficient.”

    1. I have yet to see any such ads more believable than the “Add 4 inches!!!” that occasionally show up in my spam filter. Dunno.

        1. It seems to have the effect of training my brain to not “see” red text on moelane.com ..
          This is fine, as long as you use something other than red to indicate “critical breaking news”.

    1. It will be. In my old neighborhood the city had acquired property on which to build two elementary schools, but since the area was still under development only one school was built. The other site was bulldozed flat and set aside until the suburb was built out and the kid population was large enough to justify the second school. Surprise! In the fifteen years since the site was cleared, “vernal pools” (otherwise known as rainwater ponds) had formed on the site, and had become the habitat of the local species of fairy brine shrimp. At which point the EPA entered the picture … Hilarity ensued.

    2. In Maryland I beliive you and your driveway would be subject to a runoff tax for the rainwater the asphalt does not absorb .

      1. Gravel road. Hence, mud puddles when it rains.
        😉 Also, desert. Runoff isn’t taxed, even if the amount was significant.

  2. So now there’s a market for water-permiable asphalt and concrete. Need more States to get in before it becomes something for big business to show an interest in.

    1. Two words: frost heaves
      There’s a darned good reason why roads are made as impermeable as humanly possible.

      1. Yep. Note that all those permeable parking lots have *deep* (2′-3′) and well-drained gravel beds underneath ’em.. it’s going to be interesting to see how well they handle freeze/thaw cycles.

  3. If this Rule goes through, much of the fracking still going on will end.

    The Bakken formation will become unworkable.

    The possibility of the Keystone Pipeline ever being built will approach zero.

    But, hey!, it’s just a minor redefinition of Navigable Waters.

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