Delays in Water of the U.S. Rule; USDA Investing in Sage Grouse Initiative
Last Thursday, a North Dakota federal judge granted an injunction against the Waters of the U.S. rule, effectively delaying implementation by the Environmental Protection Agency for 13 states. U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota issued a temporary injunction against the rule, while two other courts denied the injunction. Erickson said “the risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely," granting the injunction. Earlier in the day, the EPA had remained on track to implement the rule. The Obama administration implemented the Clean Water Rule Friday everywhere but those 13 states.
USDA will invest approximately $211 million through 2018 in conservation efforts to benefit the greater sage grouse.“Sage Grouse Initiative 2.0,” will provide additional assistance for ranchers to make conservation improvements to their land. USDA says the improvements mutually benefit the sage grouse and agriculture operations. Since its launch in 2010, partners engaged in the Initiative have conserved 4.4 million acres. The Natural Resources Conservation Service expects that number to near double with the additional funding.