At almost the last moment a North Dakota District Judge acted late on Thursday to block the EPA’s anti water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect.
Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts didn’t act and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided.
Injunction Does Not Apply to the Great Lakes
The EPA plans to largely enforce the regulation as planned, arguing that the Thursday decision only applies to the 13 states that requested the injunction. In a statement shortly after the ruling, the EPA was defiant and said that the injunction only applies in the 13 states that filed for it: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The injunction does not apply to Michigan therefore the new rules take effect today across the Great Lakes Region. “In all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28,” EPA Press Secretary Melissa Harrison said in the statement. “The agencies are evaluating these orders and considering next steps in the litigation.”
Michigan and Ohio suffer from seasonal algae blooms in Saginaw Bay and Western Lake Erie due to sewage and farm run-off.