State awaits Judge’s next move in continued WOTUS fight

Oklahoma Attorney General and a handful of others who filed legal steps earlier in the month for an injunction against a South Carolina federal judge’s ruling in support of the Waters of the U.S. rule await the next move by a Tulsa federal judge.

When Mike Hunter filed the motion on August 17, he was joined by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, Portland Cement Association, The State Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma, the State of Oklahoma and the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.

They asked U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan to stay the federal judge’s ruling in the original case filed in 2015 by former attorney general Scott Pruitt. (2015-CV-0381)

Their filing came one day after U.S. District Judge David C. North of South Carolina issued an injunction against Trump administration delays against the Obama-era WOTUS act.

The ruling enjoined 24 states where the rule was considered unenforceable. The court’s Suspension Rule also applied to 26 other states including Oklahoma. As Randall J. Yates, Assistant Solicitor General said in his motion, the WOTUS rule is now technically in effect.

“This situation creates an intolerable regulatory patchwork across the country, and it harms States like Oklahoma and individuals and businesses—,” argued Yates. “—the WOTUS Rule will deprive Oklahoma of jurisdiction over a significant percentage of the waters over which it had previously exercised sovereign regulatory authority.”

The next step lies with Judge Eagan.