Federal Judge Issues Order to Reinstate 2015 WOTUS Rule in 26 States

Image credit: NAHBnow.com

On August 16, South Carolina Federal District Court Judge David Norton issued an order which reinstated the 2015 rule that updated the definition of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS). The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers utilize the definition to determine what waters are jurisdiction of the United States under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The EPA under the Trump administration had amended the 2015 rule to delay the applicability date of it until 2020. Judge Norton ruled that the Trump administration failed to comply with rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act in suspending the implementation of the new rule that was adopted under the Obama administration. Specifically, Norton said that the government provided no “reasoned analysis” for delaying the effective date of the rule and no “meaningful opportunity” for public comment. The ruling means that the Clean Water Rule will go into effect in 26 states attached (see map courtesy of www.NAHBnow.com.) The Trump administration is working to repeal the 2015 rule and replacing it with a version of their own.

Rare Roseate Spoonbill spotted at Hebron Wetlands Mitigation Bank

Recently, a very rare sighting of a solitary Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) occurred at the Hebron Fish Hatchery Wetlands Mitigation Bank site in Licking County, Ohio. Located on land owned and managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife, the mitigation bank was established in 1993 by the Stream + Wetlands Foundation in partnership with ODNR. The Hebron Fish Hatchery Mitigation Bank was the first mitigation bank established in Ohio and was one of the first in the country.

The Spoonbill was first discovered on the Hebron site on August 9 and then again on August 11, 12, 13 and 14. For a list of all sightings, visit the Ebird.org/Ohio Rare Bird Alert website. (Photo credit: Alex Eberts, member of Birding Ohio).

Earlier this year, a Spoonbill was seen in June in Lorain County and again in July in Holmes County. It may be the same bird working its way southward. Prior to the 2018 Ohio sightings, there were two prior sightings in 1986 and again in 2002.