August 2017 Metrics Report

Nebraska Clean Diesel Program: School Bus Replacements and Diesel Emissions Reductions
Since 2013 the Nebraska Clean Diesel Program has reduced diesel emissions by providing rebates to Nebraska school districts for the early replacement of older diesel school buses. Using annual grant funds provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, NDEQ has offered rebates to reimburse 25% of the cost of a new, cleaner-burning diesel or alternative-fuel school bus. Twenty-two Nebraska school districts received rebates for new bus purchases between 2013 and 2016 under this program.
  • Replacement of older diesel buses reduces emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulates, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide.
  • Replaced buses and engines were scrapped to eliminate their harmful emissions.
  • $451,064 in rebates have been paid to schools since 2013.
  • Nitrogen oxide emissions have been reduced by 19.89 tons based on the estimated remaining lifetimes of the replaced buses.

Emerging Issues/Risks: NDEQ sponsored the first of five “nitrate in groundwater” risk communication workshops in Norfolk on Aug. 22-23. This nonpoint source program funded, two-day workshop provided participants strategies that will assist them in overcoming communication barriers that can occur between communities, producers, and regulatory agencies. The 25 workshop participants included members of the Farm Bureau, Cattlemen, crop consultants, NRCS, Santee Sioux Nation, city utilities, multiple state agencies, and NRD staff and board members who work in the Bazile Groundwater Management Area. The other four workshops will be scheduled within the next year.

Accomplishments: EPA recently announced a cooperative project with NDEQ to identify the sources of bacterial contamination in Nebraska streams. A new innovative technology, “PhyloChip” will be introduced and used next spring to help NDEQ differentiate between human and animal bacteria sources.

Misc. Items of Note: NDEQ hosted an informational session prior to a public hearing held on NDEQ’s preliminary approval of an air quality construction permit application by Lincoln Premium Poultry. The informational session was held in order for the public to ask questions and learn more about the facility and the application process in an informal setting. Approximately 25 citizens attended the informational session and had good interaction with NDEQ staff. Sixteen people testified at the following public hearing, and 17 submitted written comments during the comment period. NDEQ is preparing a responsiveness summary to issues raised at the hearing and during the comment period, and will provide a final decision on the application in the near future.