For more information,
contact NDEE's Public Information Office, (402) 471-4223, (402) 471-4243 or (402) 471-4245

issued jointly from the
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
and the City of Lincoln

Brian McManus, Department of Environmental Quality, (402) 471-4223
John Taylor, City of Lincoln

Voluntary Cleanup Efforts at Lincoln Haymarket Recognized

Officials from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality praised the cleanup efforts at Lincoln’s Haymarket District during a recent Haymarket Celebration event.

NDEQ’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) issued two “No Further Action” letters to the City of Lincoln West Haymarket Joint Public Agency for a large portion of Lincoln’s Haymarket District. NDEQ issued a “No Further Action” letter for the West Haymarket Redevelopment Site South in 2018 while the West Haymarket Redevelopment Site North VCP letter was issued in 2016. These letters are the culmination of approximately eight years of cooperative efforts between the city and NDEQ. The state’s role included the review and oversight of the City of Lincoln’s cleanup of the former Burlington Northern and Santa Fe railyard and former Alter Scrap Yard. Many hours, meetings, document reviews, and field work oversight by NDEQ staff were necessary for the successful completion of this project.

“The City of Lincoln Administration and staff is to be commended for its commitment to these long-term cleanup efforts,” said NDEQ Director Jim Macy. “These efforts have yielded positive results for Lincoln’s environment, as well as providing new development opportunities in the area and bringing jobs to this remarkable area of the city. Likewise, the staff at NDEQ who have been involved in this project should be recognized for their dedication in overseeing this successful cleanup.”

This cleanup facilitated the mixed-use redevelopment of the former railyard into the Pinnacle Bank Arena and surrounding restaurants, bars, hotels, parking garages, apartments, office and retail uses. Mixed use and green space redevelopment is planned for the former Alter Scrap Yard. Over the course of the effort, NDEQ and the City of Lincoln developed a strong partnership to address the environmental cleanup challenges posed by the sites. This partnership will likely continue as the City seeks to develop other areas with potential environmental concerns that are good candidates for enrollment in the VCP Program.

The VCP program is designed to streamline cleanups of historically contaminated property for any willing participant with the end goal of receiving a No Further Action letter, which facilitates the redevelopment and reuse of the remediated property. For more information on the VCP, see http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/VCP.

Although the No Further Action Letters address the VCP issues, the City continues to pump and monitor small amounts of diesel free product that continues to be detected at a couple monitoring wells near some parking structures in the West Haymarket. Those issues are still under the oversight of NDEQ’s Petroleum Remediation Section, and the City of Lincoln continues to address this issue in cooperation with NDEQ.