Regulations protecting water quality and quantity in eastern Nebraska are being updated for the first time in 20 years.

The proposed changes aim to further control pumping and reduce the potential for agriculture pollution in the Papio Missouri River Natural Resources District.

The plan would limit when farmers can use fertilizers in an effort to keep nitrates out of the water system. High levels of nitrates can be particularly dangerous to infants and could possibly contribute to cancer.

The plan would also put restrictions on certain wells.

The natural resources district board may vote on the plan as soon as February.

Officials say the plan is needed because of growing threats of contamination and pollution.

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