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Federal Court grants Attorney General Bailey’s request to halt WOTUS rule


Mo. Attorney General Andrew Bailey
Mo. Attorney General Andrew Bailey

April 13, 2023 - In a major win for Missouri farmers and businesses, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced that the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota has granted his motion for preliminary injunction halting President Biden’s unconstitutional Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.


This order comes mere days after President Biden vetoed legislation passed by a bipartisan coalition in Congress that would have overturned his overreaching interpretation of WOTUS. The Court’s granted preliminary injunction overcomes the president’s veto by blocking the rule.


“I filed suit against the Biden Administration because agriculture is one of Missouri’s leading industries and our office is never going to let the federal government run roughshod over farmers throughout the state,” said Attorney General Bailey. “His interpretation of WOTUS is nothing more than a land grab usurping the right of Missouri farmers to control their property, and I’m proud to have partnered with Missouri agriculture leaders on this issue.” “The Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule is a disastrous policy that only serves to harm our farm families and small businesses, and we thank Attorney General Bailey for bringing this lawsuit and seeking this injunction,” Governor Mike Parson said. “Bipartisan members of Congress agree this rule is unnecessary government intrusion, yet the Biden Administration refuses to listen. Alongside Attorney General Bailey, we will continue to fight against Washington D.C.’s radical climate agenda and toward clearer, more commonsense guidance on what regulated waters are and should be.” Attorney General Bailey filed suit with 23 other attorneys general against Biden’s WOTUS rule that attempts to unconstitutionally expand federal authority over water throughout the country. The lawsuit asserted that President Biden’s interpretation of WOTUS “goes beyond the power Congress delegated in the Clean Water Act, raises serious constitutional concerns, and runs roughshod over the Administrative Procedure Act.” The Trump administration replaced the Obama administration’s controversial 2015 WOTUS rule with the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which created a clear distinction between federal waters and waters subject to the sole control of the states, their governmental subdivisions, and tribes. President Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office that began the process of rolling back the Trump administration reforms, which was finalized in December when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its new rule repealing the NWPR and repackaged the 2015 Obama rule. The new rule redefines “navigable waters” to include ponds, certain streams, ditches, and other bodies of water under the Clean Waters Act, as determined by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. Joining Missouri in this lawsuit are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio ,Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The Court’s order can be read here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/wotus-preliminary-injunction-granted-c1.pdf?sfvrsn=9e2f1450_2 The original lawsuit can be read here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/as-filed-wotus-rule-c1.pdf?sfvrsn=89fd5df4_2

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