President Donald Trump directed the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to review the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule, which dramatically expanded the number of federally protected waterways under the federal Clean Water Act.

Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

Newly appointed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said his agency would immediately begin to review the 2015 rule and then propose a new rule either rescinding or revising it.

View the Executive Order and the Federal Register notice.

The controversial WOTUS rule has faced legal challenges ever since it was finalized by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers and had blocked from implementation by a federal appeals court. The order puts legal challenges to the rule on hold during the administrative review.

Dairy and agricultural organization leaders praised the order.


Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), said the executive order was “a welcome development for the nation’s dairy farmers, who have been concerned by the continuing lack of clarity and certainty generated by this policy.”

“NMPF and its members are committed to protecting U.S. waterways through voluntary efforts, as well as through regulatory compliance with the Clean Water Act,” Mulhern said. “Clean water is central to healthy ecosystems, secure water supplies for human and animal consumption and to the production of milk and other dairy products. The dairy industry will continue working with EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to find effective ways to achieve these important goals.”

“The flawed WOTUS rule has proven to be nothing more than a federal land grab, aimed at telling farmers and ranchers how to run their businesses,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “EPA failed to listen to farmers’ and ranchers’ concerns when drafting the rule and instead created widespread confusion for agriculture. Under the rule, the smallest pond or ditch could be declared a federal waterway.  end mark

Dave Natzke