November 2017 Metrics Report

___________________ is an interactive web tool designed to communicate environmental progress in
the states.   Measures in four primary areas are displayed:  Communities, Air, Land, and Water. 
Presently, fifteen states are participating in the project.

As a member of the ECOS Measures Workgroup, NDEQ participated in identifying 14 common measures that illustrate environmental progress.

These measures fall into four key areas: 

Air Healthy to Breathe

Healthy and Thriving Communities

Less and Properly Managed Waste 

Water Clean and Available for All Use
Nebraska is one of 15 “pilot” states whose measures are displayed on the ECOS Results website.  Each participating state selects measures that best tell their story in protecting public health and the environment. 

Measures are developed using existing data which is regularly collected and reported.  States have the option to provide additional state-specific comments for each measure displayed. 

ECOS plans to continually revise and update the site, and expects that the remaining states will participate within the coming year.

Emerging Risks / Issues: NDEQ has been working on remediation projects in Lincoln’s West Haymarket Redevelopment area for several years. Many entities are involved in the projects – developers, property owners, City of Lincoln representatives as well as multiple NDEQ programs. NDEQ and West Haymarket representatives recently met to discuss the most effective way to proceed with continued development of the area south of O St. NDEQ provided a summary of relevant issues which will enable all parties to develop a path forward for continued development of the area. To date, NDEQ’s Voluntary Clean-up Program and Petroleum Remediation Program have been the primary programs involved in the redevelopment of the entire Haymarket area. These programs will continue to play a key role in remediating an old industrial area and returning it to productive use.

Accomplishments: EPA notified Governor Ricketts that all of Nebraska is recognized as in compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone. In 2015, EPA lowered the acceptable level of ozone in the atmosphere due to health concerns, particularly for children, the elderly, and those with existing respiratory conditions. In spite of the more stringent standard, Nebraska remains in compliance. This is indicative of the high quality ambient air Nebraska enjoys. In states that are near, or exceed, the ozone standard, extensive control programs must be adopted to address the threats caused by ozone levels. NDEQ is able to devote our resources to other important environmental issues thanks to our attainment with the ozone standard.

Misc. Items of Note: NDEQ and NPPD have been participating in a formal Environmental Partnership since 2000. Over the last two years, the Partnership has sponsored webinars targeted for the economic development community. The webinars seek to educate economic developers about NDEQ’s requirements and assistance programs, enabling them to provide the information to proposed or expanding businesses they are working with. The webinars were November 13th and 16th.