According to Michigan Farm News, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the Texas Farm Bureau and other members of a broad industry and agricultural coalition have asked a federal district court in Texas to issue a nationwide stay blocking the Obama administration’s 2015 “Water of the U.S.” rule from taking effect on farms and ranches across the nation. This follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision that the Court of Appeals lacked jurisdiction over the 2015 rule, resulting in the imminent lifting of a nationwide court order that has blocked the rule since October 2015.
Eager to have the 2015 rule go into effect, a handful of states and environmental organizations have already challenged the applicability date rule and vowed to seek immediate court orders allowing the 2015 rule to go into effect. Warning of the threat of other court injunctions blocking the agencies’ efforts, AFBF court papers explain why “farmers and ranchers face the prospect of regulatory whiplash as the 2015 rule comes in and out of effect. If the 2015 rule comes into effect, even for short periods of time, farmers won’t know whether dry ditches, drains and low spots on their farm fields will be ‘dry land’ one day and ‘water’ the next.”