With the increasing demand for alternative energy sources, wind farms in Nebraska are becoming a viable option.
There are some environmental regulations that apply to wind farms. Any construction activity that disturbs more than one acre of total land, including staging areas and offsite disturbance, must obtain a stormwater construction permit. The online application form can be found on NDEQ’s website at http://deq.ne.gov. For further assistance, please call (402) 471-4220.
Some facilities may construct an operation and maintenance building. Any dwelling or establishment that generates wastewater must have an onsite wastewater treatment system or be connected to a wastewater works. If the maintenance building has a floor drain, please be aware the discharge of motor vehicle wastes or maintenance shop wastes to a septic system or to a soil absorption system is prohibited. Options for the management of this waste include connecting to a city sanitary sewer, a holding tank, or a synthetically lined lagoon. The connection of a floor drain to a holding tank or a synthetically lined lagoon requires a permit under Title 124 - Rules and Regulations for the Design, Operation, and Maintenance of On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems. For more information regarding motor vehicle waste disposal or Title 124 permit requirements go to “Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Well Fact Sheet” and “Onsite Wastewater Systems Permitting Fact Sheet” on NDEQ’s website or call (402) 471-4285.
For projects that require a concrete plant to be temporarily or permanently placed at the site, an air permit may be required depending on the potential emissions of the plant. An air permit may also be required if there will be an emergency generator or any concrete, asphalt, or similar type of crushing activities at the site. To find out if you need any type of air permit, please call the Air Permit Assistance Hotline at (877) 834-0474.
The above permits are the most common that may apply to a wind farm project. Depending on the specific aspects of your project, there may be other environmental regulations that apply.
Other governmental agencies that may be involved in your wind farm project include the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) with regard to threatened and endangered species, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with regard to the disturbance of a wetland, and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with regard to a public water supply well. To find out if your project complies with the Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act, contact NGPC at (402) 471-0641. If your project will disturb a wetland, contact the USACE at (402) 995-2417. If you will be installing a public water supply well, contact DHHS at (402) 471-3121.
Additional information on wind energy development considerations in Nebraska is located on the Nebraska Energy Office website: www.neo.ne.gov.
Questions? Contact: Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922; Tel.: (402) 471-2186, or visit our web site at http://deq.ne.gov.