Attorney General Chris Carr this week announced that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia has granted a preliminary injunction that blocks the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule for Georgia and 10 other states.

“For almost three years, Georgia has led a multi-state coalition fighting against the WOTUS Rule, which infringes on the States’ traditional role as primary regulators of land and water resources within their borders,” said Attorney General Chris Carr.  “This order shows that the court agrees we are likely to succeed on the merits of our claims, including that the 2015 WOTUS Rule violates the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. We are proud to have obtained this relief for Georgia citizens and will continue to fight against federal overreach in this case and others.”

In its order issued Friday evening, the court also agreed that if the WOTUS Rule became effective, the States would suffer irreparable harm in the form of both a “loss of sovereignty and unrecoverable monetary losses.”  The court concluded that blocking the WOTUS Rule also favors the public interest because it saves “farmers, homeowners, and small businesses” from having to “devote time and expense to obtain[] federal permits … to comply with a rule that is likely to be invalidated.”

Led by the Georgia Solicitor General’s Unit, the 11-state coalition also includes the following states: Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

In light of the district court’s order and an earlier injunction granted by the U.S. District Court for North Dakota, federal courts have now issued injunctions against the 2015 WOTUS Rule in favor of 24 States. A copy of the order is attached.

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