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Clean Water Act: What Questions Do You Have?

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a rule to clarify what the law is regarding which bodies of water are subject to the Clean Water Act. This rule, sometimes called the Waters of the U.S., or “WOTUS,” has stirred up some controversy, especially among farmers and ranchers.

At the Center, we strive to bring you accurate information about the issues that concern rural people, so you can participate in our democratic process.

Rural Small Business Hiring on the Rise

Our new assessment of rural small business trends, needs, and concerns in Nebraska shows some promising data. Most notable was the overall increase in hiring and job creation activity. The dramatic rise in Latino-owned businesses participating in the survey was also encouraging.

Interesting demographic trends among Latino business owners came to light. The owners were, on average, considerably younger than the overall sampling group. Also, business owners were more likely to be women. These trends create unique business needs and exciting development opportunities.

Hispanic Population Gains Offset Rural Out-Migration, Keep Small Towns Bustling

My town, Fremont, Nebraska, population 26,000, has an aging population. We’re no different from many small and midsized towns across rural America. By 2017, 31% of Fremont’s residents are projected to be 55 or older.

A new population of Latino immigrants has been moving to the quiet town since the late 1970s. In 1990 there were only 223 Latinos in Dodge County, where Fremont is the county seat. That number increased to approximately 1,400 in 2000 and more than 2,500 in 2012.

Communities Can Change Transmission for the Better

Earlier this month, several hearings were held across Missouri concerning a proposed transmission line that has the potential to carry Midwest wind energy to eastern markets. The Missouri Public Service Commission heard testimony from Missouri residents concerning the Grain Belt Express project, one of several new transmission projects in the region that could help boost new renewable energy projects.

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