Landscapers’ trade group praises WOTUS injunction

Updated Dec 16, 2015

NALPA preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing its new Waters of the United States rule in at least 13 states has the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) feeling encouraged.

In a message notifying its members of the Aug. 27 ruling by a federal district judge in North Dakota, NALP reiterates its opposition to the new rule, in which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) significantly expands areas subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act.

The landscapers’ association acknowledges the court’s preliminary injunction may block EPA enforcement of the rule only in the 13 states involved in the litigation before the federal court in North Dakota. A number of other states also have sued to stop EPA from enforcing its new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and those cases have been consolidated before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati.

EPA, meanwhile, says it intends to enforce the rule in all states except those that are party to the North Dakota decision – namely, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

“We’re hopeful the judge (in North Dakota) will make it clear that EPA enforcement of the rule is enjoined nationwide,” says Tom Delaney, NALP’s director of government affairs. He said some parties in the North Dakota case “are going back to the judge to ask him to make that clear,” thus blocking – at least temporarily – any EPA enforcement of the rule.

The landscaping industry is far from the only interest group opposed to the new WOTUS rule, which critics argue could require property owners to seek federal approval – including obtaining permits – when building or altering even a small pond, spraying insecticide near ponds or drainage ditches, or taking other actions that affect even very small bodies of water.

EPA insists the only affected waters are those with a “direct and significant” connection to larger bodies of water or wetlands that are already protected by the Clean Water Act.

The landscapers’ association is among a number of trade groups pushing Congress to quash the rule or permanently block EPA from enforcing it. The U.S. House of Representatives already has passed a bill to do just that, although the Obama administration has indicated it would veto the legislation if it were to become law. A similar bill is pending in the Senate.

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover