FORT WORTH, Texas — The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted Texas’ motion for summary judgment and found the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule to be invalid. The same court issued a preliminary injunction in September, but this latest ruling finds that the rule violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act and must go back to the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers, where it originated. The two agencies have already been working on a replacement.
Robert McKnight, Jr., president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
“Tuesday’s court ruling is a victory for Texas cattle producers, who have been threatened for years with the 2015 WOTUS rule, an unprecedented land grab that would require costly federal permits for a wide array of common land and water management practices. The ruling validates our long-standing concerns with the substance of the rule and the process by which it was implemented.
“On behalf of TSCRA and Texas cattle producers, I would like to thank Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for his diligent work to protect our rights in the face of this blatant federal overreach. We will continue to work with the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that the new rule limits federal intrusion on private property rights.”