North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is in the process of reviewing the text of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. According to Stenehjem, this new definition is an improvement from the Obama-administration rule, partially because of states being able to regulate their own water. “Just as important as what is included is now a definition of things that won’t be included,” says Stenehjem. “That’s everything that had our farm community up in arms because the former rule attempted to regulate farm ditches and prairie potholes. Those are now excluded under this rule and that’s a good thing.” Once the rule is published in the Federal Register, it will take effect within 60 days. Stenehjem thinks the new definition will stand up in court, though legal challenges are expected. “It’s also important to note the Obama-era rule is on hold. We got an injunction in North Dakota and we’ll be defending on both fronts to make sure we’re providing for farm and ranch operators.”
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