Tag Archives: Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality

Last Day to Submit Your Comments on Nebraska VW Settlement Draft Plan December 31, 2017

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) has been designated by Governor Ricketts to administer funds allocated to the state from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. The initial allocation to Nebraska is approximately $12.25 million. 

  • NDEQ has released Nebraska’s draft mitigation plan, which is available for download HERE.
  • NDEQ is soliciting public input on the draft plan. Comments will be accepted through December 31, 2017. Instructions for submitting comments are available by clicking the link, above.

NDEQ Soliciting Public Comments on Nebraska’s Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Draft Plan

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) has been designated by Governor Ricketts to administer funds allocated to the state from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. The initial allocation to Nebraska is approximately $12.25 million. 

  • NDEQ has completed the draft mitigation plan, which is available for download HERE.
  • NDEQ is soliciting input from the public on the draft plan. Comments will be accepted through December 31, 2017. Instructions for submitting comments are available by clicking the link, above.

Two Meetings Scheduled to Discuss Nebraska VW Settlement Funds

Lincoln: October 16 – 1:00 p.m. at the Lancaster Event Center, 4100 N. 84th Street
North Platte: October 18 – 1:00 p.m. at Best Western Plus, 3201 S. Jeffers Street

Nebraska is expected to receive approximately $12.25 million in a settlement approved by the U.S. District Court against Volkswagen and Audi. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) has been designated by Governor Pete Ricketts as the lead agency to administer the funds allocated to Nebraska.

NDEQ is seeking public involvement as it develops a draft mitigation plan, which is to be submitted to the court-appointed Trustee of the settlement for approval.

“We intend to develop a plan that will effectively direct our share of the settlement funds to improve Nebraska’s air quality and support local projects,” NDEQ Director Jim Macy said. “These meetings are an important part of our effort to discuss how the funds can best be used in our state.”

The meetings will begin with a presentation giving an overview of the settlement and the diesel emission mitigation actions that are available for funding under the Trust. Attendees will then have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments on Nebraska’s development of a Mitigation Plan under the Trust.

Written public comments can also be submitted to NDEQ. Comments received by November 3, 2017 will be reviewed and considered by NDEQ as it develops the draft plan. The preferred method of submitting comments is through NDEQ’s online Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Plan comment portal: https://ecmp.nebraska.gov/DEQ-VW/.

Comments can also be sent by email to: NDEQ.VWSettlement@nebraska.gov, or by mail to: NDEQ Air Quality Division, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-8922.

More information about the VW settlement, eligible project options, and public involvement opportunities is located at NDEQ’s VW webpage: http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/AirVW

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS

A Nebraska Farm’s Renewable Energy Enterprise Is Reaping Profits While Protecting Soil & Water

Danny and Josie Kluthe own the first on-farm electrical generator in Nebraska powered by manure methane. The methane is harvested from an anaerobic manure digester on their swine farm in Dodge, Nebraska to produce electricity and compressed natural gas (CNG).

Some of their homegrown, renewable energy is used for the farm. The excess, enough to power approximately 50 homes, is sold to the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) through the Kluthe’s alternative energy business, called OLean Energy. NPPD distributes the energy to neighboring Cuming County Public Power District.

It all started with the Kluthe’s desire to be good neighbors, to control the odor from their farm, particularly with a church nearby.  At a symposium  presented by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the Nebraska Public Power District, Danny discovered that the manure from an anaerobic digester essentially comes out odorless. “So it seemed like a perfect fit.”

The USDA and the Nebraska Environmental Trust provided grants to help fund the construction of the farm’s electrical generator. The manure methane produced by the digester is piped to the generator to power it.

“We are displacing $4-per-gallon diesel with the methane we produce here on the farm, so the payback is phenomenal. We now can make our own electricity, our own vehicle fuel and our own fuel to heat the barns. It’s nice to be energy-independent and not be at the mercy of energy costs.”

To read more about the Kluthe family and additional ways they are protecting the soil and water resources at Bacon Hill, share their story and connect with others, click on this link: http://globegazette.com/article_c46cafba-2e1a-50bc9716db629ab74df1.html#.Umktng5a4OQ.twitter

The Midwest Rural Energy Council’s website provides resources on Anaerobic Digesters and Biogas, including: Anaerobic Digester Basics, Financial Assistance & Economics of Using Anaerobic Digesters, Farmers’ Digester Experience, Organizations that Support Anaerobic Digestion Endeavors, and more: www.mrec.org/anaerobicdigestion.html

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s AgStar Program provides an online Anaerobic Digester (AD) 101 guide, answers to Frequent Questions, Fact Sheets, and additional resources at this link: www.epa.gov/agstar/anaerobic/index.html