March 1 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump signed two executive orders: one calling for a review of the Waters of the U.S. Rule and another shifting the federal authority on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the White House.
Trump's executive order calling for a review to the Waters of the United States Rule instructs the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine whether federal jurisdiction over "navigable waters" under the Clean Water Act should also include bodies of water that former President Barack Obama instructed should also be protected.
In 2015, the Obama administration issued a new rule reinterpreting the Clean Water Act to extend federal protections to smaller rivers and streams. The former president's water rule has been blocked by a federal appeals court. Trump's executive order also asks the Department of Justice to put its appeal over the court's block on the water rule on hold while the review is carried out.
During a signing ceremony with farmers and lawmakers, Trump said the rule was "one of the worst examples of federal regulation" and that "it has truly run amok."
"A few years ago, the EPA decided that 'navigable waters' can mean nearly every puddle or every ditch on a farmer's land, or anyplace else that they decide -- right? It was a massive power grab," Trump said.
The second executive order Trump signed is designed to "promote excellence and innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities" by moving the federal initiative on HBCUs directly to the White House instead of under the Department of Education. The order also establishes a President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs but leaves much of the budgeting and administration of the initiative for the Department of Education.
Trump said the order makes "HBCUs a priority in the White House -- an absolute priority."