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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts, Nebraska Ag & Business Groups Applaud WOTUS Repeal

Media Contacts:

Taylor Gage, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1970

Craig Head, Nebraska Farm Bureau, 402-432-4723

Christin Kamm, Ag Department, 402-471-6856


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska agriculture and business groups applauded an announcement by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt that the Trump Administration had finalized the repeal of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. 


“Thank you to President Trump and Administrator Pruitt for delivering on your promise to roll back this job-killing regulation,” said Governor Ricketts.  “This policy returns federal oversight of intra-state waterways to pre-2015 standards, respects the rights of private land owners and states, and provides for ample protection of clean water.  Removing this threat to our state’s top industries gives Nebraska the freedom to grow more opportunities for the next generation in the areas of agriculture and manufacturing.”


“Today, countless farmers, ranchers, homebuilders, manufacturers, county governments, golf courses, and small businesses are loudly celebrating the demise of EPA’s proposed WOTUS rule,” said Steve Nelson of Axtell speaking on behalf of the Common Sense Nebraska coalition.  “For over two years, our coalition which represents the very industries who would have had to bear the brunt of this federal land grab, have worked tirelessly to stop this breathtaking assumption of authority by the federal government that flies in the face of Congressional intent, legal precedents, and even science.  We want to thank the Trump Administration and EPA Administrator Pruitt specifically for now going back to the drawing board to write a new rule that actually protects water without trampling the rights of businesses and state regulatory agencies.”


“I applaud the Trump Administration and Secretary Pruitt’s announcement to walk away from the previous administration’s WOTUS rule and begin the process to develop a new rule,” said Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach.  “The expansive reach and inability to determine what water or land may fall under jurisdiction under the existing regulation puts Nebraska’s agriculture industry in jeopardy.  Our farmers and ranchers have proven to be thoughtful stewards of our land and resources, and jurisdiction of those resources should be the responsibility of the states.  I look forward to the development of a new rule, founded in common sense, that will support Nebraska’s ability to protect our water and land resources.”


About Common Sense Nebraska


Common Sense Nebraska is a diverse, Nebraska-based coalition consisting of organizations and entities that have united in response to the EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule, a regulatory proposal that would harm both rural and urban Nebraskans through expansion of the EPA’s powers and authorities under the federal Clean Water Act.  The coalition’s purpose is to build awareness and understanding of the EPA proposal and the impacts it would have on Nebraskans.  For more information visit Common Sense Nebraska on Facebook.


Common Sense Nebraska Coalition members include:


AKSARBEN Club Managers Association

Association of General Contractors - NE Chapter

Farm Credit Services of America

Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association

National Federation of Independent Businesses/Nebraska

Nebraska Agribusiness Association

Nebraska Association of County Officials

Nebraska Association of Resource Districts

Nebraska Bankers Association

Nebraska Cattlemen

Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Nebraska Cooperative Council

Nebraska Corn Board

Nebraska Corn Growers Association

Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation

Nebraska Golf Course Superintendents Association

Nebraska Grain and Feed Association

Nebraska Grain Sorghum Association

Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board

Nebraska Pork Producers Association

Nebraska Poultry Industries

Nebraska Rural Electric Association

Nebraska Soybean Association

Nebraska State Dairy Association

Nebraska State Home Builders Association

Nebraska State Irrigation Association

Nebraska Water Resources Association

Nebraska Wheat Board

Nebraska Wheat Growers Association

Nemaha Natural Resources District

Pawnee County Rural Water District #1