The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals placed a nationwide stay on the Obama administration’s controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) final rule on Oct. 9. The final rule, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in May, greatly expands the administration’s jurisdiction over water and land uses across the country under the Clean Water Act. 

The final rule is being challenged on the grounds that the federal agencies went further than the statute permits. In a split decision, the court explained, “A stay temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new rule and whether they will survive legal testing.” This comes after a recent decision by a North Dakota federal judge blocking implementation in 13 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.