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NDEQ Seeks Early Stakeholder Input on Draft Solid Waste Rules; Meeting/Conference Call Scheduled Nov. 25

Nov. 8, 2013 -- The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) has scheduled an outreach meeting/conference call on November 25, 2013 to seek stakeholder input on proposed amendments to three sets of waste regulations. The proposed revisions are designed to make waste regulations consistent with statutory language passed by the Nebraska Legislature in 2013. The drafts to be discussed are proposed revisions to:

Title 128-Nebraska Hazardous Waste Regulations
Title 132-Integrated Solid Waste Management Regulations
Title 199-Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentives Grant Program

These drafts can be viewed on the agency website.* The department intends to propose amendments to these regulations to the Nebraska Environmental Quality Council (EQC) at its next meeting on February 6, 2014.

This outreach meeting follows a mailing that was sent out to stakeholders in August, 2013 that explained proposed changes and sought public input. NDEQ Waste Management Division has now developed a draft package of regulatory language and is again contacting potentially affected stakeholders to inform them of the additional opportunity to provide early input prior to finalizing the regulatory packages and preparing them for public notice.

The meeting will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. November 25, 2013 in the NDEQ offices, at 1200 N St., Lincoln, in Room 424. NDEQ welcomes people to attend in person, and there will also be a telephone conference line available. To participate in the conference call, dial the toll-free number 1 (888) 820-1398 prior to 2 p.m., and enter attendee code: 9932065#.

The meeting will begin with a brief summary of the proposed amendments by NDEQ Waste Management Division staff, followed by an opportunity to discuss stakeholder questions and to collect comments. Stakeholders may also submit comments by email to ndeq.waste@nebraska.gov. Feedback received by December 2, 2013 will be considered and responded to prior to finalizing the regulatory packages. The final package of amendments will be public noticed and made available for formal review and comment at least 30 days prior to the February 2014 EQC hearing.

Proposed Revisions
The revisions to all three of these regulations are intended to make them consistent with new statutory language resulting from the passage of two legislative bills in 2013. The first bill, LB 203, changed the definition of “solid waste” in the Nebraska Environmental Protection Act to provide an exclusion for slag, a product that is the result of the steel manufacturing process. The definition change is limited in scope and impact to the solid waste industry; however, the NDEQ intends to make the changes in order to be consistent with the statutory intent. Solid waste is defined in all three of these regulations.

The second bill, LB 549, makes changes to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive Act. LB 549 increases the minimum amount of money available for scrap tire projects from $1 million annually to $1.5 million annually. LB 549 also extends the sunset date for scrap tire grants from June 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019. The annual award of money and the sunset date for scrap tire grants is contained in Title 199, Chapter 2, 002.
* The draft amendment packages can be found at DEQ’s web site, http://deq.ne.gov, under Laws and Regulations/Proposed Rules and Regulations.