3Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt asked recently how the new Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corp of Engineers statement on “waters of the United States” affect Nevada.

The full extent of the answer isn’t known, and Laxalt noted he feels this is more federal overreach and intends his office to fight it. “‘Waters of the United States’ has never been crystal clear,” he said.

As defined in the Nevada Revised Statutes NRS 445A.415 – “Waters of the state” means all waters situated wholly or partly within or bordering upon this state, including but not limited to: a. All streams, lakes, ponds, impounding reservoirs, marshes, water courses, waterways, wells, springs, irrigation systems and drainage systems; and b. All bodies or accumulations of water, surface and underground, natural or artificial.

In addition, Laxalt said, “The consequences of federal overreach are real,” and his office will “continue to fight diligently to preserve our balance of power.”

Here in Lincoln and White Pine counties will the waters of the White River be affected? Waters that mostly flow underground, but do surface in a number of various places including Ash Springs, Hiko Springs, Crystal Springs, Panaca Springs, Key-Pittman and Frenchy Lake. Are all of these waters to be declared waters of the U.S. and come under the jurisdiction of the federal government?

Laxalt has pointed out even some Nevada Democrats have joined with Republicans in the west to challenge the waters of the United States rule.

When asked to comment Lincoln County District Attorney Daniel Hooge said, “It’s a really big concern. There has been a lot of federal overreach and some of the additional issues are the dry washes that only flood certain times of the year, if at all, and then the government might want to come in and regulate that, with any rules they want. There is definitely some overreach involved by the federal government.”

The Meadow Valley Wash, Echo Canyon Reservoir, Haymaker Reservoir and the Tule Field Reservoir are part of the Colorado River Hydrographic Region that are considered “impaired waters of the U.S.”

Listing a water body as impaired is done by assessing quality data periodically to determine if they contain pollutants at levels that exceed protective water quality criteria and standards.