Obama’s 2015 rule maintains that rivers used for drinking, recreation and fishing can only be clean if pollution from creeks and other bodies of water feeding into them — including ditches, wetlands and “ephemeral” streams that are created by rainfalls — is regulated.
That rule cited authority from the Clean Water Act, which states it’s illegal to pollute waterways without a permit. But U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood’s ruling found that the rule “failed” to comply with federal law.
“Congress has delegated the important role of protecting the nation’s waters to the Agencies, but in fulfilling that role, the Agencies must comply with the law,” she wrote.
The rule is already blocked in the states that filed the challenge, so there’s no change in Georgia as to how it will be applied.
Georgia has helped lead opposition to the 2015 rule, arguing that it is overly strict and costly and hurt state sovereignty. President Donald Trump's administration last year proposed rules that would roll back the restrictions that were cheered by top state Republican officials.