|More recently the number of sites reported annually have significantly decreased and, in November 2018, the final sites on the backlog list were activated for investigation and potential cleanup. Since the program’s inception, a total of 6,734 petroleum release sites have been investigated, cleaned up, and closed; the majority of these were RP sites.
Although there is still work to be done, elimination of the backlog is a major achievement. The Petroleum Remediation staff will continue cleanup work on the approximately 550 active sites. There are also an additional 350 orphan sites on a waiting list which will be activated as financial resources become available.
Emerging Risks / Issues:
- Staff from DHHS – Drinking Water attended a West Point city council meeting to address community concerns about high levels of iron and manganese in drinking water. The meeting was well attended and several questions were posed by the public and council members. DHHS staff addressed the questions and continues to work with West Point to address this water quality issue.
- DHHS staff attended the annual American Water Works Association meeting during which they participated in judging the “Best Drinking Water in Nebraska” competition. The water is judged on appearance, scent, taste and aftertaste. North Platte won for the second year in a row!
Misc. Items of Note:
- NDEQ received $3,025,000 from the Volkswagen Environmental Trust Fund for grants related to the purchase of 42 school buses at locations across the state and four transit buses in Omaha and Lincoln. This accounts for a third of the funds allocated to Nebraska in the Volkswagen Settlement.
- NDEQ has awarded $1.3 million in Litter Reduction and Recycling grants. The grants are for public education, recycling and litter cleanup activities. In selecting successful applicants NDEQ relies on input from a sub-committee of the Environmental Quality Council.
- The Environmental Quality Council held public hearings on, and approved, six NDEQ proposals. Five of the hearings were on regulatory amendments consolidating and repealing regulations, including Title 120 – 401 Certification; Title 133 – Litter Reduction and Recycling Grant Program; Title 197 – Certification of Wastewater Treatment Operators; Title 198 – Agricultural Chemical Containment; and Title 199 – Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive Grants. The sixth hearing set funding percentage allocations for the Litter Reduction and Recycling Grant Program in three categories: public education, cleanup, and recycling.