Nebraska farm and ranch groups form coalition to fight federal proposal on land use and water


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LINCOLN, Nebraska — Some Nebraska farm and ranch groups have formed a coalition to fight what they say is a power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The group called Common Sense Nebraska was announced Tuesday and includes the Nebraska Cattlemen and Nebraska Corn Growers Association among its members.

Under a rule proposed by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, seasonal and rain-dependent streams and nearby wetlands would be protected by the Clean Water Act. The EPA says it wants to clarify protection for the upstream waters that are vital to downstream communities.

But Common Sense Nebraska says that under the proposal, basic farming and ranching activities would require permits when those water features are present. The group says the permitting requirements can be costly and could delay time-sensitive farming practices.

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