NDEE produces a monthly metrics report to measure what the agency has accomplished; to set annual and longer-term goals; and to examine these goals against accomplishments to ensure continuous process improvements.
• NDEE’s air permitting and compliance teams held a May 5 meeting with industry representatives to improve communications and to increase transparency in how the agency makes regulatory decisions. NDEE is planning ongoing outreach to continue these conversations.
• Prescribed burning season in the Kansas Flint Hills is wrapping up. NDEE coordinated four air quality calls and issued two advisories in April due to smoke from these burns.
• NDEE is providing training and equipment for high school programs to take samples of Shell Creek that can be used in the Surface Water Quality Integrated Report. This expands the sampling effort for NDEE monitoring programs and enables the agency to make additional stream assessments from data collected by organizations like natural resources districts. Schools involved are Newman Grove High School, Lakeview Junior-Senior High School and Schuyler Central High School.
• A new water treatment facility went into service in West Point this spring. This project originated in spring 2018 when the West Point city council discussed high manganese levels in the municipal water wells. Prior to constructing the facility, the water system completed a pilot study to ensure it could remove contaminants to below health-based levels. The Drinking Water SRF provided a $2,765,000 loan to the community with 20% forgiveness assistance that helped fund the project and will also fund the replacement of water mains at several locations in the city.
• NDEE conducted several outreach events and public hearings in April. The Water Planning Section held a public hearing for Nebraska Water Quality Standards triennial review; the Weatherization and State Energy team held a public hearing for the Weatherization Assistance Program State Plan; the Air Division held a webinar and the first of four outreach meetings on proposed changes to Title 129 Nebraska Air Quality Regulations; and the Groundwater Section held a webinar on Source Water Protection Grants.