Judge allows Iowa to join states halting clean water rule

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Mississippi River. (File photo)

DES MOINES, Iowa – A federal judge in North Dakota has handed Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds a victory in temporarily halting enforcement of a Barack Obama administration clean water rule in the state.

The Waters of the United States rule is disliked by conservative groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Farm Bureau Federation which claim it’s classic government overregulation.

It was challenged in court in June 2015 by a dozen states seeking to halt its implementation.

The rule, supported by environmental groups, provides a definition for which rivers, lakes and other water bodies may be regulated by federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency.

Iowa was not one of the original states in the lawsuit, but Reynolds had asked the court to allow the state to join in. That would mean Iowa also could halt enforcement of the clean water rule until the issue is fully litigated in the courts.

On Tuesday Judge Daniel Hovland granted Reynolds’ request.

Reynolds says in a statement that “Iowa farmers and small business owners will not be burdened by this federal overreach while we continue fighting to permanently end the WOTUS Rule.”

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