A new federal court ruling in the Southern District of Texas may remove from federal protection roadside ditches running adjacent to transportation projects.
The decision in Texas v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overturns the 2015 version of the Waters of the United States rules which said that such ditches are subject to federal oversight when it comes to transportation construction projects that may impact those ditches.
A coalition of groups, including the American Road & Transportation Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders, contended that the Waters of the United States rules were too oppressive and expansive.
In their plea to the district court, the groups charged that the new rules exerted jurisdiction “over a staggering range of dry land and water features—whether large or small.”
Those groups also said that the rules would make such ditches subject to unnecessary government oversight leading to the delay and increased cost of many transportation projects.
The Southern District of Texas decision means the Waters of the United States rules are now going to be sent back to the Environmental Protection Agency for an updated review.
In a press release, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association called the court decision a “win for the nation’s transportation construction industry and builders of other much-needed infrastructure.”
By Garry Boulard
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