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Ohio v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20045
Nos. 2:15-cv-2467, (S.D. Ohio, 03/26/2019) (Sargus, J.)

A district court denied Ohio's and Tennessee's motion to preliminarily enjoin EPA's 2015 Clean Water Rule that clarified the definition of "waters of the United States" under the CWA. The states challenged the validity of the rule, arguing it extended the scope of the CWA beyond the reach of the statute's language and attempted to extend federal authority beyond the limits established under the U.S. Constitution. EPA asserted that a preliminary injunction was unnecessary because there was no imminent harm to the states due to the Agency's enactment of a rule that temporarily suspended the application of the Clean Water Rule, and that the Agency was actively working towards revoking the Clean Water Rule. The court found that while the states correctly indicated the Clean Water Rule was effective within their boundaries due to an enjoinder of the subsequent rule that suspended the Clean Water Rule, they failed to demonstrate they would suffer imminent and irreparable harm absent an injunction. It therefore denied the states' motion for a preliminary injunction.