Nebraskans get a chance to voice their concerns about a proposed expansion of the Clean Water Act during a United States Senate hearing on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.
United States Senator Deb Fischer will chair a hearing of the Environmental and Public Works Committee on UNL’s East Campus tomorrow morning in which Nebraskans are scheduled to testify about the impact of proposed Waters of the United States rule.
“I’m looking forward to the feedback from this hearing and also to shedding light on how these misguided policies will hurt people in our state,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call.
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed what it terms an update of the Clean Water Act, called the Waters of the United States. The rule would broaden the definition of waters under EPA jurisdiction, mainly through removing the word “navigable” from the Act.
EPA officials say the change will allow the agency to better regulate pollution by getting closer to its source. Critics claim it is an extreme overreached by the federal agency, extending the Clean Water Act beyond the intent of Congress.
“What I want to do is have Nebraskans be able to have their voices heard,” according to Fischer. “I think that’s extremely important.”
Fischer has called on the EPA to scrap the proposal.
According to the senator’s office, the hearing will examine the views of a diverse group of stakeholders, including representatives from the agriculture community, homebuilders, natural resource districts, and state and local governments.
The official title of the hearing is “Impacts of the Proposed Waters of the United States Rule on State and Local Governments and Stakeholders.” It begins at 10am Saturday at Hardin Hall, Room 107, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, East Campus.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]