January 2016 Metrics Report

A Message from NDEQ Director Jim Macy:

In July 2015, NDEQ initiated a monthly metrics report. This information is provided to the Governor’s Office, is shared with NDEQ staff, and now is being presented to the public. The reason this report has been established is 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.

The January report focuses on agency inspections, air construction and operating permits, and ag construction and operating permits. This is followed by a summary of issues, accomplishments and other items of note for January, 2016.

Updated information will be posted monthly on this website.

Following is a description of specific issues NDEQ has been addressing in January:

Emerging Risks / Issues: NDEQ planned a major outreach effort to receive input prior to drafting the initial submittal on Nebraska’s Carbon Mitigation Strategy required by EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP.) Meetings were to be held at nine locations across the state. On January 28, NDEQ staff met with representatives of the power industry, environmental groups and commerce to introduce the content of and explain the process to be followed at the public meetings. However, the US Supreme Court stayed the CPP rule in a surprise decision on February 9, thereby halting implementation of the rule until the legal challenges have been decided. Oral arguments are set for June. NDEQ has postponed the public meetings and will wait on a court ruling before proceeding.

Accomplishments: NDEQ opened a new Field Office in Grand Island on January 4. Responsibilities for the Grand Island Program Specialist include livestock and waste management inspections, as well as conducting surface water sampling and responding to complaints. Establishment of the Grand Island Field Office will reduce travel and enable NDEQ to respond to our constituents in a more timely manner.

In 2015, NDEQ awarded scrap tire cleanup grants to 30 political subdivisions across Nebraska to hold collection site cleanups. Over $645,960 was awarded to cleanup approximately 7,075 tons (over 700,000 passenger tire equivalents) of scrap tires. Those sponsoring the cleanups included one state agency, 16 counties, nine cities and villages, two NRDs, one solid waste agency and one SID. The cleanups ranged from a city collection for local residents and surrounding rural areas to a ten-county cleanup, as well as a 1,500-ton legacy pile.

Misc. Items of Note: Heritage Disposal and Storage of Grand Island has entered into a contract with the Department of Defense to dispose of smoke grenades and related devices in an incinerator on the grounds of the former Cornhusker Army Ammunition plant west of Grand Island. The facility will be classified as a commercial hazardous waste management facility. All commercial hazardous waste facilities must be sited according to a statute that went into effect in 1989. The statute requires the creation of a local Site Review Committee charged with preparing a report to the NDEQ Director which captures the discussions of the committee and documents local concerns.