Emerging Risks / Issues: NDEQ successfully appealed a proposed remedy decision made by the EPA Superfund program for the West Hwy 6 & Hwy 281 National Priorities List site in Hastings. The EPA proposal would have taken significantly longer, and would have been more costly to Nebraska. The approach supported by NDEQ would accomplish the needed remediation sooner (16 years vs. 30 years) and would save the State approximately $3.6 million in future operation and maintenance costs. EPA agreed the NDEQ position had merit and selected the more economical and expedient alternative in the final decision.
Accomplishments: On September 14th NDEQ issued an Air Quality construction permit for Lincoln Premium Poultry (LPP) located in Fremont. The permit allows LPP to begin construction on a facility that will process over 400,000 chickens per day. NDEQ extended the public comment period and prepared an extensive responsiveness summary in an effort to ensure public concerns were addressed.
NDEQ and DHHS Drinking Water staff have been involved in activities focused on educating staff in wastewater and drinking water programs. NDEQ’s Technical Assistance Staff have provided training on the basics of wastewater treatment operations and design. Field office staff for both Departments have accompanied each other on inspections of publically owned wastewater treatment plants and drinking water treatment plants. Cross-training will result in more effective service to Nebraska communities.
Misc. Items of Note: Governor Pete Ricketts has designated NDEQ as the lead agency to administer approximately $12.25 million allocated to the state from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. The Trust was established for the purpose of reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides. The Trust authorizes funding for a number of possible mitigation operations, including vehicle or engine replacements for diesel trucks and buses, engine replacements for construction and farm equipment and irrigation pump engines, and construction and maintenance of zero-emission vehicle charging stations. NDEQ will be soliciting public comments on the development of the required mitigation plan.