|The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) is required by statute and is committed to providing compliance assistance to the regulated community. Compliance assistance is preferable to enforcement in achieving regulatory compliance and as such the NDEQ emphasizes providing assistance as a primary course of action toward achieving compliance. By having staff members whose primary function is providing assistance and integrating the practices of compliance assistance into all NDEQ functions, effective assistance is available to Nebraska businesses that promote regulatory compliance and ultimately enhances Nebraska’s environment.
What Assistance is Available?
As the state’s lead environmental agency, the NDEQ has knowledge of and access to many of the resources and tools available to help you achieve and go beyond your environmental compliance obligations. Compliance assistance is available in many forms and on a variety of topics. Whether you have questions regarding hazardous waste, air quality, water quality, or other environmental issues, the NDEQ’s assistance program is available to help you understand and comply with environmental regulations. Some of the areas where the NDEQ can provide assistance are:
How To Get Assistance
- Determining what permits you may need to apply for and who the NDEQ contact is for those permits;
- Providing technical assistance for completing permit applications, emission inventories, discharge monitoring reports and other required documents;
- Explaining regulations and their application to your situation;
- Listing contacts in other federal, state, or local agencies that you may need to contact for assistance; and
- Providing informative Fact Sheets, Guidance Documents, pamphlets, websites and many other environmental resources.
Who Provides Assistance?
- Website information:
The NDEQ’s website, http://deq.ne.gov has numerous Fact Sheets and Guidance Documents designed to help businesses and the public understand Nebraska’s environmental regulations. Additionally, NDEQ’s regulations and many of the NDEQ’s permit applications are posted on the website.
- Workshops, seminars, and conferences:
The NDEQ hosts, participates in, and presents current regulatory information at these events. Dates of these events are posted on a Calendar of Events on the NDEQ website.
Much of the assistance that the NDEQ provides is through phone calls and e-mails. If you know which program you need assistance with, use the phone numbers of assistance providers located in the following section of this document. Or you can call NDEQ’s toll free number at (877) 253-2603 or e-mail NDEQ at NDEQ.assistance@Nebraska.gov.
- One-Stop Program:
The One-Stop Program Coordinator acts as a single point of contact at NDEQ for Nebraska businesses, brings together appropriate NDEQ staff to address questions or concerns and ensure that inquiries about potential permits, regulatory processes, and other issues receive a timely response. Contact the NDEQ One-Stop Program Coordinator at (402) 471-8697.
- Compliance assistance visits:
Upon your request, NDEQ compliance assistance staff will come to your facility and meet with you and others in your organization. During a compliance assistance visit, we can advise you of your regulatory obligations and inform you of possible options to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance and/or direct you to other experts.
All NDEQ staff members have a role in providing assistance, but to better serve the regulated community and the public, the NDEQ has staff members whose primary role is to provide assistance. Please call any of the following programs for answers to your questions:
- Air Quality Construction Permit Hotline, (877) 834-0474
The Air Quality (AQ) Permitting Hotline is staffed by AQ permit writers, who can provide answers to your questions about the Construction and Operating Permit Programs. If you need help determining whether or not a construction or operating permit is needed, Hotline staff can help you work through the determination process including whether or not a pre-application meeting with AQ staff will be helpful. If you need help determining the fee that must accompany a construction permit application, staff can direct you to the fee schedule and explain how to use it (no fees are required for an operating permit application). The AQ Hotline staff can answer specific questions that arise as you work your way through the permit application forms. AQ staff can also direct you to spreadsheets that may be used to calculate actual and/or potential emissions for certain types of industries or equipment. Upon request, AQ Hotline staff can provide you with an update on the status of your application after its submittal. While the focus of the Hotline is on permitting questions, staff are also able to assist or direct questions to other AQ sections for AQ activities, such as Annual Emission Inventory form completion, burn permit applications, and required forms that must be completed for asbestos removal prior to demolition of a building.
- Small Business & Public Assistance (SBPA) Program Coordinator, (402) 471-8697
The SBPA program is a general clearinghouse for information about and contacts for environmental programs administered by the NDEQ and other local, state or federal agencies and will help you get to the right people to answer your questions. The SBPA program also maintains a current list of consultants providing environmental services. The SBPA program coordinator also serves as the NDEQ’s Public Advocate and Small Business Ombudsman, and in this role can assist you if you have concerns or problems.
- Waste Management Environmental Assistance Coordinator, (402) 471-8308
The Waste Management Environmental Assistance program provides regulatory and waste minimization assistance to business, government, and individuals. The assistance coordinator can help solve your regulatory questions about hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste. This staff member can answer questions about how to do waste determinations, how the waste regulations apply to your situation, and finding appropriate disposal options. The program also offers compliance assistance visits.
- Water Quality Program Assistance, (402) 471-4220
Due to the great variety of water quality related assistance available, you will be directed to the appropriate NDEQ water quality staff by calling this number. The NDEQ can provide water quality assistance or guidance for groundwater protection; septic system installation and maintenance; wastewater treatment system operators’ training, system engineering and discharge requirements; livestock waste control requirements; storm water regulatory requirements; and surface water quality issues.
- NDEQ Regulatory Staff
Much of the assistance the NDEQ provides is through the interaction of the regulated community with the NDEQ’s inspection, engineering, and permitting staff members. Oftentimes during permit development or on-site inspections, environmental issues arise either within or outside of the individual NDEQ staff member’s area of expertise. The NDEQ’s regulatory staff will provide you with guidance for addressing these issues or refer you to the appropriate NDEQ staff.
Produced by: Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922; phone (402) 471-2186. To view this, and other information related to our agency, visit our web site at http://deq.ne.gov.