Nebraska Revised Statute 81-1504

Chapter 81

81-1504.

Department; powers; duties.

The department shall have and may exercise the following powers and duties:

(1) To exercise exclusive general supervision of the administration and enforcement of the Environmental Protection Act, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, the Livestock Waste Management Act, and all rules and regulations and orders adopted and promulgated under such acts;

(2) To develop comprehensive programs for the prevention, control, and abatement of new or existing pollution of the air, waters, and land of the state;

(3) To advise and consult, cooperate, and contract with other agencies of the state, the federal government, and other states, with interstate agencies, and with affected groups, political subdivisions, and industries in furtherance of the purposes of the acts;

(4) To act as the state water pollution, air pollution, and solid waste pollution control agency for all purposes of the Clean Water Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., the Clean Air Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq., the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq., and any other federal legislation pertaining to loans or grants for environmental protection and from other sources, public or private, for carrying out any of its functions, which loans and grants shall not be expended for other than the purposes for which provided;

(5) To encourage, participate in, or conduct studies, investigations, research, and demonstrations relating to air, land, and water pollution and causes and effects, prevention, control, and abatement of such pollution as it may deem advisable and necessary for the discharge of its duties under the Environmental Protection Act, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, and the Livestock Waste Management Act, using its own staff or private research organizations under contract;

(6) To collect and disseminate information and conduct educational and training programs relating to air, water, and land pollution and the prevention, control, and abatement of such pollution;

(7) To issue, modify, or revoke orders (a) prohibiting or abating discharges of wastes into the air, waters, or land of the state and (b) requiring the construction of new disposal systems or any parts thereof or the modification, extension, or adoption of other remedial measures to prevent, control, or abate pollution;

(8) To administer state grants to political subdivisions for solid waste disposal facilities and for the construction of sewage treatment works and facilities to dispose of water treatment plant wastes;

(9) To (a) hold such hearings and give notice thereof, (b) issue such subpoenas requiring the attendance of such witnesses and the production of such evidence, (c) administer such oaths, and (d) take such testimony as the director deems necessary, and any of these powers may be exercised on behalf of the director by a hearing officer designated by the director;

(10) To require submission of plans, specifications, and other data relative to, and to inspect construction of, disposal systems or any part thereof prior to issuance of such permits or approvals as are required by the Environmental Protection Act, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, and the Livestock Waste Management Act;

(11) To issue, continue in effect, revoke, modify, or deny permits, under such conditions as the director may prescribe and consistent with the standards, rules, and regulations adopted by the council, (a) to prevent, control, or abate pollution, (b) for the discharge of wastes into the air, land, or waters of the state, and (c) for the installation, modification, or operation of disposal systems or any parts thereof;

(12) To require proper maintenance and operation of disposal systems;

(13) To exercise all incidental powers necessary to carry out the purposes of the Environmental Protection Act, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, and the Livestock Waste Management Act;

(14) To establish bureaus, divisions, or sections for the control of air pollution, water pollution, mining and land quality, and solid wastes which shall be administered by full-time salaried bureau, division, or section chiefs and to delegate and assign to each such bureau, division, or section and its officers and employees the duties and powers granted to the department for the enforcement of Chapter 81, article 15, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, the Livestock Waste Management Act, and the standards, rules, and regulations adopted pursuant thereto;

(15)(a) To require access to existing and available records relating to (i) emissions or discharges which cause or contribute to air, land, or water pollution or (ii) the monitoring of such emissions or discharges; and

(b) To require, for purposes of developing or assisting the development of any regulation or enforcing any of the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act which pertain to hazardous waste, any person who generates, stores, treats, transports, disposes of, or otherwise handles or has handled hazardous waste, upon request of any officer, employee, or representative of the department, to furnish information relating to such waste and any permit involved. Such person shall have access at all reasonable times to a copy of all results relating to such waste;

(16) To obtain such scientific, technical, administrative, and operational services including laboratory facilities, by contract or otherwise, as the director deems necessary;

(17) To encourage voluntary cooperation by persons and affected groups to achieve the purposes of the Environmental Protection Act, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, and the Livestock Waste Management Act;

(18) To encourage local units of government to handle air, land, and water pollution problems within their respective jurisdictions and on a cooperative basis and to provide technical and consultative assistance therefor;

(19) To consult with any person proposing to construct, install, or otherwise acquire an air, land, or water contaminant source or a device or system for control of such source, upon request of such person, concerning the efficacy of such device or system or concerning the air, land, or water pollution problem which may be related to the source, device, or system. Nothing in any such consultation shall be construed to relieve any person from compliance with the Environmental Protection Act, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, the Livestock Waste Management Act, rules and regulations in force pursuant to the acts, or any other provision of law;

(20) To require all persons engaged or desiring to engage in operations which result or which may result in air, water, or land pollution to secure a permit prior to installation or operation or continued operation;

(21) To enter and inspect, during reasonable hours, any building or place, except a building designed for and used exclusively for a private residence;

(22) To receive or initiate complaints of air, water, or land pollution, hold hearings in connection with air, water, or land pollution, and institute legal proceedings in the name of the state for the control or prevention of air, water, or land pollution, and for the recovery of penalties, in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, and the Livestock Waste Management Act;

(23) To delegate, by contract with governmental subdivisions which have adopted local air, water, or land pollution control programs approved by the council, the enforcement of state-adopted air, water, or land pollution control regulations within a specified region surrounding the jurisdictional area of the governmental subdivisions. Prosecutions commenced under such contracts shall be conducted by the Attorney General or county attorneys as provided in the Environmental Protection Act, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, and the Livestock Waste Management Act;

(24) To conduct tests and take samples of air, water, or land contaminants, fuel, process materials, or any other substance which affects or may affect discharges or emissions of air, water, or land contaminants from any source, giving the owner or operator a receipt for the sample obtained;

(25) To develop and enforce compliance schedules, under such conditions as the director may prescribe and consistent with the standards, rules, and regulations adopted by the council, to prevent, control, or abate pollution;

(26) To employ the Governor's Keep Nebraska Beautiful Committee for such special occasions and projects as the department may decide. Reimbursement of the committee shall be made from state and appropriate federal matching funds for each assignment of work by the department as provided in sections 81-1174 to 81-1177;

(27) To provide, to the extent determined by the council to be necessary and practicable, for areawide, selective, and periodic inspection and testing of motor vehicles to secure compliance with applicable exhaust emission standards for a fee not to exceed five dollars to offset the cost of inspection;

(28) To enforce, when it is not feasible to prescribe or enforce any emission standard for control of air pollutants, the use of a design, equipment, a work practice, an operational standard, or a combination thereof, adequate to protect the public health from such pollutant or pollutants with an ample margin of safety;

(29) To establish the position of public advocate to be located within the department to assist and educate the public on departmental programs and to carry out all duties of the ombudsman as provided in the Clean Air Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 7661f;

(30) Under such conditions as it may prescribe for the review, recommendations, and written approval of the director, to require the submission of such plans, specifications, and other information as it deems necessary to carry out the Environmental Protection Act, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, and the Livestock Waste Management Act or to carry out the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the acts. When deemed necessary by the director, the plans and specifications shall be prepared and submitted by a professional engineer licensed to practice in Nebraska;

(31) To carry out the provisions of the Petroleum Products and Hazardous Substances Storage and Handling Act;

(32) To consider the risk to human health and safety and to the environment in evaluating and approving plans for remedial action;

(33) To evaluate permits proposed to be issued to any political subdivision under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System created by the Clean Water Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., as provided in section 81-1517;

(34) To exercise such powers and duties as may be delegated by the federal government to administer an individual and general permit program for the discharge of dredged or fill material consistent with section 404 of the Clean Water Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1344;

(35) To serve as or assist in developing and coordinating a central repository within state government for the collection of data on energy;

(36) To undertake a continuing assessment of the trends in the availability, consumption, and development of all forms of energy;

(37) To collect and analyze data relating to present and future demands and resources for all sources of energy and to specify energy needs for the state;

(38) To recommend to the Governor and the Legislature energy policies and conservation measures for the state and to carry out such measures as are adopted;

(39) To provide for public dissemination of appropriate information on energy, energy sources, and energy conservation;

(40) To accept, expend, or disburse funds, public or private, made available to it for research studies, demonstration projects, or other activities which are related either to energy conservation and efficiency or development;

(41) To study the impact and relationship of state energy policies to national and regional energy policies and engage in such activities as will reasonably insure that the State of Nebraska and its residents receive an equitable share of energy supplies, including the administration of any federally mandated or state-mandated energy allocation programs;

(42) To actively seek the advice of the residents of Nebraska regarding energy policies and programs;

(43) To prepare emergency allocation plans suggesting to the Governor actions to be taken in the event of serious shortages of energy;

(44) To design and maintain a state program for conservation of energy and energy efficiency;

(45) To provide technical assistance regarding energy to local subdivisions of government;

(46) To provide technical assistance to private persons desiring information on energy conservation and efficiency techniques and the use of renewable energy technologies;

(47) To develop a strategic state energy plan pursuant to section 81-1604;

(48) To develop and disseminate transparent and objective energy information and analysis while utilizing existing energy planning resources of relevant stakeholder entities;

(49) To actively seek to maximize federal and other nonstate funding and support to the state for energy planning;

(50) To monitor energy transmission capacity planning and policy affecting the state and the regulatory approval process for the development of energy infrastructure and make recommendations to the Governor and electronically to the Legislature as necessary to facilitate energy infrastructure planning and development;

(51) To implement rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the director pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act to carry out subdivisions (35) through (58) of this section;

(52) To make all contracts pursuant to subdivisions (35) through (58) of this section and do all things to cooperate with the federal government, and to qualify for, accept, expend, and dispense public or private funds intended for the implementation of subdivisions (35) through (58) of this section;

(53) To contract for services, if such work or services cannot be satisfactorily performed by employees of the department or by any other part of state government;

(54) To enter into such agreements as are necessary to carry out energy research and development with other states;

(55) To carry out the duties and responsibilities relating to energy as may be requested or required of the state by the federal government;

(56) To cooperate and participate with the approval of the Governor in the activities of organizations of states relating to the availability, conservation, development, and distribution of energy;

(57) To engage in such activities as will seek to insure that the State of Nebraska and its residents receive an equitable share of energy supplies at a fair price; and

(58) To form advisory committees of residents of Nebraska to advise the director on programs and policies relating to energy and to assist in implementing such programs. Such committees shall be of a temporary nature, and no member shall receive any compensation for serving on any such committee but, with the approval of the Governor, members shall receive reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses as provided in sections 81-1174 to 81-1177. The minutes of meetings of and actions taken by each committee shall be kept and a record shall be maintained of the name, address, and occupation or vocation of every individual serving on any committee. The department shall maintain such minutes and records and shall make them available for public inspection during regular office hours.

Source

  • Laws 1971, LB 939, § 4;
  • Laws 1972, LB 1435, § 3;
  • Laws 1973, LB 254, § 1;
  • Laws 1974, LB 1029, § 2;
  • Laws 1979, LB 342, § 1;
  • Laws 1980, LB 853, § 2;
  • Laws 1981, LB 204, § 196;
  • Laws 1983, LB 356, § 4;
  • Laws 1984, LB 1078, § 2;
  • Laws 1986, LB 217, § 15;
  • Laws 1992, LB 1257, § 78;
  • Laws 1994, LB 570, § 6;
  • Laws 1996, LB 1226, § 13;
  • Laws 1997, LB 622, § 124;
  • Laws 1998, LB 1209, § 20;
  • Laws 2015, LB413, § 1;
  • Laws 2019, LB302, § 108.
  • Operative Date: July 1, 2019

Cross References

  • Administrative Procedure Act, see section 84-920.
  • Integrated Solid Waste Management Act, see section 13-2001.
  • Livestock Waste Management Act, see section 54-2416.
  • Petroleum Products and Hazardous Substances Storage and Handling Act, see section 81-15,117.