President Donald Trump Tuesday slammed the Waters of the United States rule as he signed an executive order calling for the EPA to re-evaluate regulations imposed by the Obama administration.
"The EPA regulations were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands," Trump said at the White House. "These regulations and permits started treating our wonderful small farmers and small businesses as if they were major industrial polluters.
"They treated them horribly.
"These abuses were why such incredible opposition to this rule," Trump said. "It's a horrible, horrible rule. It has sort of nice name, but everything else is bad."
The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized the waters rule in 2015 to clarify which bodies of water are covered by the Clean Water Act.
The rule has faced intense political and legal opposition from Republicans lawmakers, farmers and energy companies. It was blocked by a federal appeals court pending further court challenges.
Trump's executive order also directed the Justice Department to ask a federal court to put legal challenges to the waters rule on hold as the administration conducts its review.
"I'm directing EPA to take action to pave action for elimination for this very destructive horrible rule," the president said, adding that his objective with the order is "putting people back to work for a strong and healthy economy."
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