A federal judge issued a nationwide injunction Thursday on the Trump administration's order delaying the Clean Water Rule, making the Obama-era regulation applicable in the 26 states that have not blocked it, E&E News reports.
The United States District Court in South Carolina found that the Environmental Protection Agency had violated rule-making procedures in delaying the regulation, also known as the Waters of the U.S. rule, which protects wetlands and tributaries under the Clean Water Act. Previously, a federal judge ruled in favor of states seeking to get out of these regulations.
Environmental groups have criticized the delay as an attempt to strip U.S. waterways of protections. "This is a victory for families and communities across America who depend on clean water, and a rebuke to the polluting industries trying to gut this nation's bedrock health and environmental safeguards," Geoff Gisler, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, which is representing the coalition of conservation groups, said in a statement on the court's latest decision.
*Update—August 16th, 2018: This post has been updated to include the Southern Environmental Law Center's response to the judge's ruling.