A federal judge sided with the North Carolina Coastal Federation and other conservation groups Thursday when he issued an injunction that blocked the federal administration’s attempt to suspend the Clean Water Rule.

The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) represented the federation, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Charleston Waterkeeper, American Rivers, Chattachoochee Riverkeeper, Clean Water Action, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Rappahannock and the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.

The injunction makes the Clean Water Rule law in 26 states, but it does not apply to North Carolina due to litigation in the Southern District of Georgia. SELC is appealing that decision.

The Clean Water Rule, also known as WOTUS, expanded federal Clean Water Act protections for streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands. The current administration is trying to suspend the 2015 rule, which would severely limit clean water protections and put drinking water at risk.

SELC, on behalf of the plaintiffs, argued that the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineering violated the Administrative Procedure Act because they did not allow time for public comment on the decision to suspend the Clean Water Rule in February.

For more information on this case, see SELC’s press release.

To sign the petition to protect clean water, go to protectsouthernwater.org.