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06-23-20 | Legislation

New WOTUS Rule Becomes Law, Colorado Exempt

Navigable Waters Protection Rule

While the new rule has brought about multiple lawsuits, claiming the absence of protection for many U.S waterways, it was passed into law Monday.

The Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) took effect on Monday, June 22 in all states except Colorado. The new law, which the Trump administration created to redefine the existing Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations, has been a topic of debate between states, environmental groups and agriculture and other industry groups.

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On Friday, federal judge Joseph Seeborg of the Northern District of California denied a request from 17 states, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, the District of Columbia and the City of New York for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented the implementation of the law nationwide. However, in Colorado, a district court judge granted an injunction, solely for the state of Colorado, after the state sued the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. According to the state, the new rule will lessen the protection of their waters by the Clean Water Act and as written in the lawsuit, "will deprive the state of effective tools to keep its streams and wetlands clean."

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