EPA: Clean water rule in effect despite court ruling
The Environmental Protection Agency says it is going forward with a new federal rule to protect small streams, tributaries and wetlands, despite a court ruling that blocked the measure in 13 central and Western states.
The EPA says the rule, which took effect Friday in more than three dozen states, will safeguard drinking water for millions of Americans.
Opponents pledged to continue to fight the rule, emboldened by a federal court decision Thursday that blocked it from Alaska to Arkansas.
"We see this (rule) as very hurtful to farmers and ranchers and we're going to do everything to stop it politically," said Don Parrish of the American Farm Bureau Federation, one of several farm and business groups that have filed suit against the regulation.
Lawsuits to block the regulation are pending across the country, and the Republican-controlled Congress has moved to thwart it. The House has ignored a White House veto threat and passed a bill to block it, and a Senate committee has passed a measure that would force the EPA to withdraw and rewrite it.