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New 2020 WOTUS Rule Challenge Filed

Two New Mexico tribes filed a new challenge to the 2020 WOTUS rule in the D. of New Mexico on March 29. This complaint sets itself apart from many of the others in that it asserts a failure to abide by Federal Trust responsibilities for tribes. I am not an Indian Law expert, so I can't opine on the strength of that case, but it will be interesting to watch how this administration reacts to it, and how it is ultimately resolved by the court. Expect the usual industry groups and PLF to move to intervene. See complaint below. Here's a link to the press release: https://lawschool.unm.edu/news/2021/03/fight-to-protect-clean-water.html

WOTUS - N.M. complaint 3.26.21
.pdf
PDF • 765KB

This new lawsuit adds to the existing litigation challenging the 2020 rule (and in many of these also the 2019 rule repealing the 2015 rule) in the following courts (not in order): D. Ar., D. Co., N.D. Ca., D. D.C., D. N.M., D. Or., W.D. Wa., D. S.C. and D. Md. At least two of these courts recently denied DOJ requests to stay the litigation. It's hard to see how this ends well or ends quickly.


For a nice roundup of the WOTUS litigation, look at this website at Harvard Law School: https://eelp.law.harvard.edu/2017/09/defining-waters-of-the-united-states-clean-water-rule/



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