MCCOOK GAZETTE: Editorial: Proposed WOTUS rollback welcome change for Nebraska

Critics are decrying the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to change the definition of the “Waters of the United States” as leaving “vast amounts of wetlands and thousands of miles of U.S. waterways” without federal protection.

What’s not often mentioned is that the definition has only been in effect for three years and if tightly enforced, could cripple states like Nebraska, where a majority of the population lives in areas where many activities could require permission from Washington.

The Clean Water Act of 1972 originally protected “navigable” waters from pollution, but over the years, despite the best efforts of Congress and administrations, the Army Corps of Engineers and courts interpreted the act different in different regions of the country.

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