Sunday, October 11, 2015

Last Call For Water Babies

The GOP has gotten their nationwide block of EPA clean water rules, and who knows how many will be sickened or die as a result?  Republicans certainly don't care.  And of course, it was the Sixth Circuit court right here in Cincinnati that did it.

A federal court ruled Friday that President Obama’s regulation to protect small waterways from pollution cannot be enforced nationwide.

In a 2-1 ruling, the Cincinnati-based Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit delivered a stinging defeat to Obama’s most ambitious effort to keep streams and wetlands clean, saying it looks likely that the rule, dubbed Waters of the United States, is illegal.“We conclude that petitioners have demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims,” the judges wrote in their decision, explaining that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new guidelines for determining whether water is subject to federal control — based mostly on the water’s distance and connection to larger water bodies — is “at odds” with a key Supreme Court ruling.

The judges said they have yet to decide whether they have jurisdiction to review the regulation, but a stay would make it easier to determine that.

“A stay allows for a more deliberate determination whether this exercise of executive power, enabled by Congress and explicated by the Supreme Court, is proper under the dictates of federal law,” the court said.

“A stay temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new Rule and whether they will survive legal testing. A stay honors the policy of cooperative federalism that informs the Clean Water Act and must attend the shared responsibility for safeguarding the nation’s waters.”

The decision expands a stay that a North Dakota judge imposed in August, the day before the rule took effect, and that only applied to 13 states.
The EPA said it will respect the court’s decision, but it believes the rule is legal and necessary.

“The agencies respect the court’s decision to allow for more deliberate consideration of the issues in the case and we look forward to litigating the merits of the Clean Water Rule,” EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said.

So hooray, the freedom to pollute streams and ponds and wells is yours, America!  Don't mind the fracking chemicals in your well water or the industrial runoff in your rivers or the hog lagoon waste in your backyard, that's not the EPA's jurisdiction, turns out.

Oh well.  Hey, did I mention that courts, including the Sixth Circuit, have seen appointments blocked by the GOP as payback against Obama?  Makes it rather easy to make sure that Bush-era judges continue to run our federal courts.  Obama will have the fewest federal judges appointed to the courts in decades, even with two terms.

Can't imagine why.  I'm sure corporate America will take care of your water for you, America.

For a price.

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