January  2017 Metrics Report

Interstate Liquid Pipeline Releases (>10,000 Gallons, last 20 years)

This map shows liquid interstate pipelines in Nebraska; natural gas and intrastate liquid pipelines are excluded. Of the 11 large releases, five were due to external forces. NDEQ’s primary regulatory role is to ensure releases are addressed. This is accomplished through the application of Title 126 (notification and immediate clean-up) and Title 118 (groundwater impacts). Regulation of design, inspection, and operation of pipelines rests with federal authorities.

Emerging Issues/Risks: Ethanol plants must demonstrate compliance with various Air Quality emission standards. This can be particularly costly with fermentation processes. Demonstrating compliance via emission testing is expensive and can result in facilitates having to rely on overly stringent operational parameters in their routine operations. NDEQ has worked with the industry and offers an alternate means to demonstrate compliance with the use of continuous emission monitors (CEMs). The CEMs relieve the facility from the requirement to conduct on-site emission tests which is expensive and time consuming, for both the facility and NDEQ. Additionally, the CEMs enable the facilities to fine-tune their operations and optimize the use of water and chemicals needed to control emissions. Anecdotal evidence indicates the CEMs, while expensive, can pay for themselves within two years. Currently, five of the state’s 25 ethanol plants have installed CEMs and another hope to have theirs in operation this fall.

Accomplishments: NDEQ has received authorization from EPA to administer the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Corrective Action (CA) program. The CA program addresses those instances when hazardous waste has contaminated the environment and must be remediated. To this point, EPA has had the authority for the CA program. It will be advantageous for the regulated community in Nebraska to have only one regulatory authority, NDEQ, to work with when subject to CA. Currently there are 70 facilities working on remediation under the CA program.

Misc. Items of Note: NDEQ provided nearly $2.5 million in grants to a combination of municipalities, businesses and non-profit organizations for programs and projects to support important local efforts to recycle and reduce litter across the state. The grants were awarded under the NDEQ Litter Reduction and Recycling program. The grant projects range from paying for costs associated with roadside clean-ups, to educational programs, and the purchase of equipment to collect and process recyclable materials.