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Gov. Ricketts Encourages Nebraskans to Weigh in on “Waters of the U.S.” Rule

Media Contacts:  

Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts Encourages Nebraskans to Weigh in on “Waters of the U.S.” Rule


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts urged Nebraskans to provide feedback to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers as the federal agencies propose to expand the definition and federal oversight of the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS).


“When the Obama Administration unlawfully tried to expand EPA authority through its 2015 WOTUS rule, Nebraska successfully fought back in court,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “The Biden Administration is again seeking to give the EPA broader power to control how Nebraskans manage our water by proposing to redefine WOTUS.  I encourage Nebraskans to weigh in as the EPA collects input.  As a state, we need to push back on this expansive federal overreach.”


Under the Obama Administration, the EPA issued a rule in 2015 that extended the agency’s regulatory authority by expansively defining WOTUS.  Later that year, the State of Nebraska joined a coalition of states to obtain a legal injunction to stop enforcement of the overreaching rule.  In 2018, the Supreme Court issued a ruling supporting Nebraska’s legal position that district courts could hear challenges to the WOTUS rule.


In 2020, President Trump issued an executive order to review the burdensome Obama-era WOTUS rule and proposing to rescind it.  His first day in office, President Biden revoked Trump’s WOTUS order.  The Biden-Harris Administration is now reviewing WOTUS with the intent of giving the federal government greater control over water resources.     


To read the federal notice regarding the WOTUS rule and submit comment, click here.