WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday mandating a review of an Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency rule that Kansas farmers have said would have affected the state’s intermittent streams and drainage ditches.

The order will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to review a rule that redefined “waters of the United States” protected under the Clean Water Act to include smaller creeks and wetlands.

The action was met by applause from Kansas lawmakers, as well as some Kansas Farm Bureau leaders, who happened to be in Washington this week.

“The executive order provides much needed relief from a burdensome rule that overstepped Congress’ long-time intention for the Clean Water Act,” said McPherson County farmer Derek Sawyer, who is in Washington for American Farm Bureau Federation’s advocacy conference.

He said Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt came to the meeting directly after the signing.

“Kansas farmers are looking forward to working with Secretary Pruitt to protect our natural resources,” Sawyer added.

Trump had railed against the water rule during his campaign, slamming it as an example of federal overreach. Farmers and landowners have criticized the rule, saying there are already too many government regulations that affect their businesses, and Republicans have been working to thwart it since its inception.

Concerns included that the Clean Water Act rule could reclassify ditches, gradient terrace channels, intermittent streams or even flooded fields as a federal waterway.

For landowners, the rule could mean paying for more permits, as well as the lengthy process it might take to get them for time-sensitive farming practices. It could mean the government telling them the amount of nutrients, as well as herbicide, pesticides and chemicals they can use on crops or where they can build fences and buildings, Sawyer and others with KFB have said.

But Democrats have argued that it safeguards drinking water for millions of Americans and clarifies confusion about which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected in the wake of decades-long uncertainty despite two Supreme Court rulings.

The order Trump signed will also instruct the agencies to ask the attorney general to suspend ongoing court action while the review is underway. Implementation of the rule has been held up in court due to pending legal challenges.

The president has promised to dramatically scale back regulations that he says are holding back businesses and has signed several orders aimed at that goal.

Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, commended Trump’s bold action.

“President Trump’s executive order calling for the EPA to repeal the detrimental Waters of the U.S. rule is a promise delivered for Kansas farmers and ranchers,” he said in a press release. “Members of our state’s agriculture community spent the better part of the last decade trying to operate under the burdensome and uninformed regulations imposed by the Obama administration. Today’s executive order is an exciting step in rolling back these harmful policies.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, also commented in a press release.

“The WOTUS rule has been a thorn in the sides of rural America for too long, and I’m thrilled President Trump has taken swift action to get rid of it,” Roberts said. “The Obama Administration’s EPA claimed they listened to farmers when writing this rule; they did not. I’m pleased to see the Trump Administration is actually listening to rural America with this executive action.”

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, also praised the announcement.

“The onerous WOTUS rule misses the mark by imposing excessive burdens on landowners, threatening to harm the economy, and costing us jobs,” Moran said. “We all share the goal of promoting clean and safe drinking water for our citizens, but there are better ways to protect our waters than this federal regulation. I look forward to working with the administration on commonsense environmental policies that conserve our natural resources for the next generation while continuing to encourage economic development.”

Sawyer said Pruitt gave a message to the Farm Bureau group about cooperating with states.

“It was refreshing to hear him talk about a pragmatic approach to governing, avoiding litigation and increasing court costs.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.