"At least five federal lawsuits challenging the EPA’s new waters of the US rule are expected to continue even if the US Supreme Court undermines the basis for the rule in an opinion coming this term.
The ruling could fuel states’ legal challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s waters of the US, or WOTUS, definition, attorneys say.
Twenty-six states and a slate of agricultural and industry groups have joined the lawsuits seeking to vacate the EPA’s latest WOTUS rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act. The lawsuits claim the EPA is exceeding its authority and that the rule is overly vague and premature because it was finalized in January ahead of the high court’s future ruling in Sackett v. EPA, expected by June.
Sackett grapples with a legal test that the EPA is using to determine if waters and wetlands are protected under the law. The 2023 WOTUS rule takes effect March 20 and applies to some local lakes, streams, and wetlands that flow into navigable waters such as the Mississippi River."