On October 9, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay barring implementation of the U.S. EPA-Army Corps rule defining Waters of the United States pending the Court’s review of several lawsuits (consolidated in the Sixth Circuit) challenging the validity of the rule. The Court held that issuing a stay is appropriate because the petitioners challenging the rule demonstrated “a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims.” Furthermore, “the sheer breadth of the ripple effects caused by the Rule’s definitional changes counsels strongly in favor of maintaining the status quo for the time being.”

Before reaching the merits of the claims challenging the rule, the Court must resolve the question of whether the Sixth Circuit or the District Courts have jurisdiction to hear challenges to the rule. Briefing on the jurisdictional issue is underway.