Attorney General Alan Wilson asks Court to block illegal federal land grab

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 6, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson and the attorneys general of 10 other states today asked a federal court to block an Obama-era rule they say will hurt states and their landowners. The states are asking for a preliminary injunction against the 2015 Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule that expands federal control over private land.

The states are trying to stop the rule permanently but are asking for a preliminary injunction to keep it from being put into place while the lawsuit is pending.

The motion states that if the 2015 WOTUS Rule goes into effect, the states will suffer irreparable harm by taking away the states’ ability to oversee local waters and land. The WOTUS Rule would expand the definition of “Waters of the United States” to include things like a small pond on a farmer’s land or a drainage ditch along a road. That would impose new federal restrictions on those waters and that land. The rule would cover almost any body of water, such as isolated streams and hundred-year floodplains.

“This rule is nothing but an unconstitutional federal land grab that will hurt businesses and landowners in South Carolina,” said Attorney General Wilson.

The states are asking for protection because other lawsuits are challenging another federal rule that’s keeping the 2015 WOTUS Rule from going into effect. If one of those lawsuits is successful, the states would suffer irreparable harm immediately.

“The States should not have to wait any longer. This Court should grant the Plaintiff States’ motion for a preliminary injunction and provide them with protection against the unlawful 2015 WOTUS Rule,” the states’ brief concludes.

The other states involved are Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Kansas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

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