President Trump signed an executive order that directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to reconsider the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule issued in May 2015. The controversial rule, which dramatically expands the scope of federal authority over water and land use across the country, has generated fierce opposition from a variety of industries, including construction. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals placed a nationwide stay on the WOTUS rule on Oct. 9, 2015. 

While the executive order can’t repeal the WOTUS rule, it does instruct the EPA and USACE to “publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the rule.” It also directs the agencies to reinterpret the term “navigable waters” in a manner that narrows federal jurisdiction and limits the waters that require permitting and agency action.