JULIET EILPERIN, The Washington Post: This is a 2015 rule, which has been subject to litigation, which tries to clarify what, as you alluded to, has been really a 30-year battle over what jurisdiction the federal government has over these smaller streams, some are intermittent, some wetlands, and essentially what the federal government can tell Americans, including farmers, ranchers, homebuilders, what they can and cannot do, even when it has to do with private property, because it has implications for smaller water bodies that are crucial water supply for larger water bodies across the United States.
JULIET EILPERIN: Partially, it’s pollution, but what it pertains to many often is whether they can be drained or filled in.
And so it is usually a restriction on whether you can drain something or dig up something, as opposed to, for example, just dumping in pollutants into a small water body, although, technically, it could apply to that as well.
And sometimes the decisions didn’t go the way they wanted to.
And, in fact, the order that President Trump signed instructs the attorney general to ask that court to simply hold that lawsuit in abeyance, essentially freezing this rule further, while the two agencies that are charged with overseeing it look at whether they can undo it, although that again is an extensive process and will spur more lawsuits going forward.