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Colorado v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20034
Nos. 20-1238, 20-1262, and 20-1263, (10th Cir., 03/02/2021)

The Tenth Circuit reversed and vacated a district court order preliminarily enjoining EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) in Colorado. Colorado argued the agencies violated the APA because the NWPR was not in accordance with the law, was arbitrary and capricious, and suffered from procedural flaws, and that the Corps violated NEPA because it promulgated the rule without preparing an EIS. The district court determined the state was entitled to injunctive relief, thus staying the effective date of the NWPR and enjoining the agencies to continue administering §404 of the CWA in Colorado under the then-current regulations. The appellate court found the state had not shown it would suffer irreparable injury absent an injunction, and thus concluded the district court had abused its discretion in granting injunctive relief. It therefore reversed and vacated the district court order, and remanded for further proceedings.