"It can't be much longer before the Supreme Court decides to hear a case from one of the circuits", Glennon says. But Wajda and the Indiana Farm Bureau's Justin Schneider say WOTUS wasn't merely too strict, but too uncertain. United States, 547 USA 715 (2006) (Rapanos) the Supreme Court took up the question of the proper test for determining if a small stream or wetland was "jurisdictional" under the Clean Water Act.
Acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler, who is expected to announce the revised rule, argued in December that the agency's revised definition restored power to states and provided greater clarity for landowners.
Environmentalists contend many of those smaller, seemingly isolated waters are tributaries of the larger waterways and can have a significant effect on their quality.
But many environmental groups, including some local ones, have criticized the decision to repeal the rule.
Indiana Senator Mike Braun and Representative Larry Bucshon, both Republicans, issued statements applauding the repeal.
Farmers say the rule imposed too much bureaucracy on their operations as it meant to limit releases of chemicals and animal waste that can flow downstream and contribute to pollution or algae blooms and Trump's promise to repeal it has been a big applause line at the president's campaign rallies.
"This repeal is a victory for land developers, oil and gas drillers, and miners who will exploit that ambiguity to dredge and fill small streams and wetlands that were protected from destruction by the 2015 rule due to their critical impact on national water quality", Environmental Protection Network member Betsy Southerland said in an emailed statement anticipating the final rule. "Before this final rule, a patchwork of regulations existed across the country as a result of various judicial decisions enjoining the 2015 Rule".
But reversing older regulations, such as the Clean Water Rule, has proved more hard.
"The rule that was developed in 2015 was a significant overreach", said Don Parrish, director of regulatory relations with the American Farm Bureau Federation, which has lobbied for the repeal and replacement of the rule.
Wheeler told Bloomberg that while the administration remains committed to rolling back the standards implemented under President Obama, "it's safe to say our final will not look exactly like the way we proposed it". EPA officials say these moves have saved Americans more than $3.5 billion. "We plan to continue to litigate as necessary to make sure that the clean water protections remain consistent with the full force of the law". The executive order followed the legal view of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, which was not adopted by the Supreme Court.
The Clean Water Act, first passed in 1972, protects federal waterways but doesn't define them.