Epa Awards $1.2 Million to State of Nebraska for Critical Environmental Projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has awarded $1,265,133 to the state of Nebraska for critical projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment.

“In keeping with our commitment to cooperative federalism, EPA is partnering with states to achieve the best environmental outcomes,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These grants are a good example of our productive relationship with state partners, achieving meaningful environmental benefits for American communities by working collaboratively.”

“The more we can do at the local level to stop waste and pollution through conservation and innovation, the more we will have peace of mind in regard to the proper use of resources. The EPA grants to Nebraska organizations will help us achieve these important goals of responsible, economically beneficial environmental stewardship,” said U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1).

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The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) was awarded a $776,436 Performance Partnership Grant (PPG) to address clean air, clean water, hazardous and solid waste through delegated program activities, quality assurance activities, and by maintaining regional and national databases associated with environmental programs. The PPG provides the state greater flexibility to address its highest environmental priorities, improve environmental performance, achieve administrative savings, and strengthen the partnership between the state and EPA.

NDEQ was also awarded a $289,300 grant to provide for the oversight, monitoring, and cleanup of petroleum releases from underground storage tanks. The following major tasks will be accomplished:

Reduce the backlog of leaking underground storage tank (LUST) cleanups in Nebraska
Implement corrective action through risk-based approaches, as well as innovative technologies
Administer the LUST program in Nebraska and report progress to EPA
Accomplish LUST cleanups using prioritized lists and state contractors
Maintain an equipment inventory
Monitor data processing systems and purpose cost recovery effectively
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health Department was awarded a $184,697 grant to develop and implement a Public Water System Supervision Program to adequately enforce the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Final products of this grant include:

Develop Safe Drinking Water Regulations
Complete inventory of drinking water systems
Manage information on public water systems
Ensure there is public participation regarding drinking water systems
Provide technical assistance to public water systems and enforce drinking water quality standards
The Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission was awarded $14,700 to execute the Underground Injection Control Program. Major components of this program include:

Review and evaluate permit applications
Conduct field inspections of wells and oversight of mechanic integrity tests
Administer compliance assistance to operators
Ensure data are entered into the database
Ensure there is public participation, which includes outreach, hearings, notices, phone conversations, and personal meetings with stakeholders
Supplemental funding for these projects will be awarded in fiscal year 2018, but the amounts will be budget-dependent

Source: Environmental Protection Agency
Date: Jan 29, 2018