|The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) is required by statute and is committed to providing compliance assistance to the regulated community. Compliance assistance is preferable to enforcement in achieving regulatory compliance and as such the NDEQ emphasizes providing assistance as a primary course of action toward achieving compliance. By having staff members whose primary function is providing assistance and integrating the practices of compliance assistance into all NDEQ functions, effective assistance is available to Nebraska businesses that promote regulatory compliance and ultimately enhances Nebraska’s environment.
What Assistance is Available?
As the state’s lead environmental agency, the NDEQ has knowledge of and access to many of the resources and tools available to help you achieve and go beyond your environmental compliance obligations. Compliance assistance is available in many forms and on a variety of topics. Whether you have questions regarding hazardous waste, air quality, water quality, or other environmental issues, the NDEQ’s assistance program is available to help you understand and comply with environmental regulations. Some of the areas where the NDEQ can provide assistance are:
How To Get Assistance
- Determining what permits you may need to apply for and who the NDEQ contact is for those permits;
- Providing technical assistance for completing permit applications, emission inventories, discharge monitoring reports and other required documents;
- Explaining regulations and their application to your situation;
- Listing contacts in other federal, state, or local agencies that you may need to contact for assistance; and
- Providing informative Fact Sheets, Guidance Documents, pamphlets, websites and many other environmental resources.
Who Provides Assistance?
- Website information: The NDEQ’s website, http://deq.ne.gov has numerous Fact Sheets and Guidance Documents designed to help businesses and the public understand Nebraska’s environmental regulations. Additionally, NDEQ’s regulations and many of the NDEQ’s permit applications are posted on the website.
- Workshops, seminars, and conferences: The NDEQ hosts, participates in, and presents current regulatory information at these events. Dates of these events are posted on a Calendar of Events on the NDEQ website.
- Phone: Much of the assistance that the NDEQ provides is through phone calls and e-mails. If you know which program you need assistance with, use the phone numbers of assistance providers located in the following section of this document. Or you can call NDEQ’s toll free number at (877) 253-2603 or e-mail NDEQ at NDEQ.moreinfo@Nebraska.gov.
- One-Stop Program: The One-Stop Program Coordinator acts as a single point of contact at NDEQ for Nebraska businesses, brings together appropriate NDEQ staff to address questions or concerns and ensure that inquiries about potential permits, regulatory processes, and other issues receive a timely response. Contact the NDEQ One-Stop Program Coordinator at (402) 471-8697.
- Compliance assistance visits: Upon your request, NDEQ compliance assistance staff will come to your facility and meet with you and others in your organization. During a compliance assistance visit, we can advise you of your regulatory obligations and inform you of possible options to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance and/or direct you to other experts.
All NDEQ staff members have a role in providing assistance, but to better serve the regulated community and the public, the NDEQ has staff members whose primary role is to provide assistance. Please call any of the following programs for answers to your questions:
- Air Quality Construction Permit Hotline, (877) 834-0474
The Air Quality Construction Permit Hotline was established to enhance customer service. The hotline is available to assist air quality construction permit applicants in completing new applications. The hotline staff will answer questions related to construction permit forms, fees, pre-application meetings, emission calculations, the permitting process, and the status of your construction permit application.
- Air Quality Environmental Assistance Coordinator, (402) 471-3305
The Air Quality Environmental Assistance program is dedicated to providing assistance in understanding and complying with the air quality regulations. The assistance coordinator can help you interpret and understand the federal and state air quality regulations that may apply to you. If you have questions related to the air permitting process or your air permit, the assistance coordinator will be able to help you. This staff member will also perform on-site compliance assistance visits, when requested, to provide specific air quality information related to your business.
- Small Business & Public Assistance (SBPA) Program Coordinator, (402) 471-8697
The SBPA program is a general clearinghouse for information about and contacts for environmental programs administered by the NDEQ and other local, state or federal agencies and will help you get to the right people to answer your questions. The SBPA program also maintains a current list of consultants providing environmental services. The SBPA program coordinator also serves as the NDEQ’s Public Advocate and Small Business Ombudsman, and in this role can assist you if you have concerns or problems.
- Waste Management Environmental Assistance Coordinator, (402) 471-8308
The Waste Management Environmental Assistance program provides regulatory and waste minimization assistance to business, government, and individuals. The assistance coordinator can help solve your regulatory questions about hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste. This staff member can answer questions about how to do waste determinations, how the waste regulations apply to your situation, and finding appropriate disposal options. The program also offers compliance assistance visits.
- Water Quality Program Assistance, (402) 471-4220
Due to the great variety of water quality related assistance available, you will be directed to the appropriate NDEQ water quality staff by calling this number. The NDEQ can provide water quality assistance or guidance for groundwater protection; septic system installation and maintenance; wastewater treatment system operators’ training, system engineering and discharge requirements; livestock waste control requirements; storm water regulatory requirements; and surface water quality issues.
- NDEQ Regulatory Staff
Much of the assistance the NDEQ provides is through the interaction of the regulated community with the NDEQ’s inspection, engineering, and permitting staff members. Oftentimes during permit development or on-site inspections, environmental issues arise either within or outside of the individual NDEQ staff member’s area of expertise. The NDEQ’s regulatory staff will provide you with guidance for addressing these issues or refer you to the appropriate NDEQ staff.
Produced by: Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922; phone (402) 471-2186. To view this document and other information related to our agency; visit our web site at http://deq.ne.gov.