According to ABC News, a federal judge in North Dakota blocked the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule on Thursday just hours before it went into effect.

ABC News reports:

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson in Fargo issued a temporary injunction requested by North Dakota and 12 other states halting the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers from regulating some small streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The rule, which has prompted fierce criticism from farmers among others, was scheduled to take effect in early September.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who filed the injunction request, said his reading of the ruling was that it applied to all 50 states, not just the 13 that sued. But the EPA said in a statement that it applied only to the 13 and it would be enforced beginning Friday in all other states.

The 13 states exempted for now are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Erickson, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2003, said the EPA had exceeded its authority in issuing the regulation.

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