June 2015 Metrics Report

A Message from NDEQ Director Jim Macy:

In June 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 report focuses on permits issued, compliance inspections, status of complaints received, and grants and loans distributed. This is followed by a summary of issues, accomplishments and other items of note for June 2015.

Updated information will be posted monthly on this website.

This graph summarizes primary permits issued by NDEQ’s Air, Waste Management and Water Divisions. The graph includes only permits that must be publicly noticed.

Inspections are on-site evaluations of an entity conducted to determine compliance with an environmental law, regulation, or permit. Compliance inspections are complete when the entity receives a formal written response.

This graph is a reflection of the number of complaints NDEQ has received and includes the number of those complaints that still must be addressed. Of the complaints received in April, only two remain open. Of the complaints received in May, 15 are open and of the 53 complaints received in June, 30 are open.

This chart depicts the total amount of grants and loans NDEQ distributed in fiscal year 2015

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

Emerging Risks / Issues:
  • The flooding on the South and North Platte rivers coupled with extremely heavy rainfall in southeast Nebraska has caused several Nebraska communities to by-pass their wastewater treatment plants. Additionally, a number of cattle feeding operations have notified NDEQ of the need to discharge from their livestock waste lagoons.
  • The federally imposed rescission of federal funds to be awarded to the NDEQ will result in a reduction of 0.66% (approximately $200,000) of our expected federal grant award. This may result in some reduction of activities and services over the next year.

  • Avian Influenza – NDEQ assisted the Nebraska Department of Agriculture with implementing the Contagious Animal Management Mortality Plan. NDEQ responded to requests for assistance to dispose of flocks and manage stormwater. Flocks were disposed through on-site composting. Burn permits were issued to affected facilities for managing non-animal waste. NDEQ is organizing a workshop for addressing Avian Influenza issues with EPA Region VII and Kansas, Missouri and Iowa to be held prior to the fall migration.
  • NDEQ awarded just over $2 million in grants to support 126 tire cleanup and recycling projects across the state. Projects include scrap tire cleanups, installation of athletic fields and playgrounds and reimbursement for purchase of materials containing recycled rubber from tires.
  • Since 2008 NDEQ has awarded $850,000 to 31 recipients under the Clean Diesel Grant Program. The latest grant ($20,000) was awarded to Elkhorn Valley Schools to help purchase a newer, cleaner, more efficient-running school bus.

Misc. Items of Note:
  • The Environmental Quality Council (EQC) held one of its three annual meetings in LaVista on June 4th. The EQC approved the NDEQ’s proposed regulations on Chemigation, Air Quality and approved the proposed plan for the use of the State Revolving Loan Fund for both wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects. NDEQ also provided information to the EQC on the establishment of priorities associated with the award of waste management grants. On June 3rd, NDEQ briefed EQC members on Omaha’s multi-year Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project. The briefing began with Omaha Mayor Stothert summarizing the cost and impact of the project. A total of 92 projects costing just over $2 billion dollars makeup the CSO project. The project is expected to be complete by 2027.
  • The NDEQ issued emission fee invoices in accordance with Nebraska Revised Statutes 81-1505.04 to the state’s largest sources of air pollution. Beginning in 1993 these sources have been assessed annual fees commensurate with the amount of pollution they emit. The $2.8 million collected will be used to partially fund the NDEQ’s Air Quality Program.
  • The July report will include metrics for the length of time it takes the Department to approve or deny permit applications.