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Gov. Ricketts Submits Comments Opposing President Biden’s Waters of the U.S. Overreach

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts Submits Comments Opposing President Biden’s Waters of the U.S. Overreach


LINCOLN – This week, Governor Pete Ricketts submitted official comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to its request for feedback as it proposes to redefine “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) within the Clean Water Act.  Expansion of the WOTUS definition would broaden the scope of federal regulation under the Act and subject Nebraskans to burdensome regulations. 


“The definition of WOTUS has a direct and meaningful impact on Nebraska farmers, ranchers, industries, developers, homebuilders, and others whose proposed projects or developments may be required to obtain permits and approval from federal agencies,” wrote Gov. Ricketts in his letter.


In 2015, the Obama Administration rewrote the definition of WOTUS in an effort to increase the EPA’s regulatory jurisdiction.  The State of Nebraska successfully mounted a legal challenge in opposition to the federal overreach.  Now, the Biden-Harris Administration is again trying to assert control over states’ water management.


In his letter to the EPA, the Governor reaffirmed the State of Nebraska’s authority to manage its own water resources.  He called for “a definition of WOTUS that provides for limited federal jurisdiction.” 


“Nebraska and its regulatory agencies have clear authority and are well equipped to protect waters of the state,” wrote Gov. Ricketts.  “States are best positioned to manage the water within their borders because of their on-the-ground knowledge of the unique aspects of their hydrology, geology, and legal frameworks.  As such, waters of the state, such as agricultural waters, including farm ponds, stock ponds, and irrigation ditches, and man-made dugouts, pits, and ponds used for irrigation, should be subject to the exclusive regulatory authority of the State.”


The Governor’s letter on WOTUS was co-signed by the directors of the State of Nebraska’s Department of Environment and Energy, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Natural Resources.


You can read the Governor’s comments to the EPA by clicking here.