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2 0 0 9 NP P D/ NDE Q ANNUA L R EPOR T


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Introduction...........................................2

Emerging Issues...................................4 Shared Resources................................6 Topical Presentations ....................7 Water Quality Sampling . ................7 Lake Ogallala Renovation ..............8 Refrigerator Recycling ....................9 Shared Activities.................................10 Public Outreach ........................... 11 Carbon Sequestration .................. 11 Consultant’s Day ..........................12 Methane Capture and Use .......... 12 Conclusion/Next Steps.......................14

INTRODUCTION

The NDEQ and NPPD share a desire to continue the development of a sustainable Nebraska, which will leave our descendents with the same high quality environment to which we have become accustomed.

—NPPD/NDEQ Environmental Partnership Agreement

NPP D/ N D E Q ANNUA L REPORT


3 The Nebraska Public Power District/Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Environmental Partnership is entering its second decade!

INTRODUCTION

The partnership was initiated as an effort to effectively address the multitude of similar issues faced by NPPD and NDEQ on a daily basis. Over the last 10 years, the number of issues has grown and will undoubtedly escalate. Energy is one issue rapidly coming to the forefront. Despite concentrated efforts to conserve, The Energy Information Administration estimates a 26 percent increase in consumer demand for electricity by the year 2030. There will certainly be a related increase in the environmental issues our organizations face and those issues will only become more complex. The need to share resources and to examine and meet our mutual challenges remains a strong foundation of the partnership. It is important to understand we do not address issues directly associated with existing regulatory programs. For example, the partnership has examined the capture and use of methane, climate change, carbon sequestration and energy conservation efforts. These issues do not involve regulations as a focus. Partnership efforts are concentrated on what impact these issues may have on our organizations, and more importantly, what the impact will be on the state of Nebraska. This report summarizes partnership activities during 2009. NPPD and NDEQ are keenly interested in any comments the reader may have and are open to recommendations as to issues the partnership could pursue. Partnership meetings are normally held every other month on the last Wednesday of odd numbered months. We welcome anyone who would like to attend the meetings.

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EMERGING ISSUES

Over the past year, issues related to energy and the environment have increased dramatically. The partnership has allowed us to concentrate our efforts on determining the impact these emerging issues may have on our organizations, and more importantly, the impact on the state of Nebraska.

— Micheal J. Linder, Director Nebraska Department of Environmetal Quality

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5 One of the primary reasons for creating the environmental partnership was to make the best use of both organizations’ resources. Over the past year, the number of issues related to both energy and the environment has exploded. In an effort to stay abreast of these issues, a standing agenda item called Emerging Issues was added and discussions concerning the topics are held at each partnership meeting. The following represents a sampling of issues NPPD and the NDEQ continue to discuss on a regular basis:

EMERGING ISSUES

• New Source Review • Regional haze • Revisions to National Ambient Air Quality Standards • Climate change • Mercury • Carbon sequestration • Clean Water Act, parts 316 (a) & (b) • Regulatory developments/updates • Economic development and associated environmental assessments • Potential changes in coal ash by-products reclassification from solid waste to a hazardous waste and coal ash utilization due to changes in air pollution control technology

NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman Station near Sutherland, Nebraska

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SHARED RESOURCES

One of the primary reasons for creating the environmental partnership was to make the best use of our collective resources.

— Ronald D. Asche President and CEO Nebraska Public Power District

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7 Topical presentations At each partnership meeting, a specific topic of mutual interest is examined in detail. The programs, presented by subject matter experts, have covered topics ranging from invasive species on the Platte River to the University of Nebraska - Lincoln’s Domestic Energy Research and Application Initiative.

SHARED RESOURCES

The addition of this program to our bi-monthly agenda has allowed both entities to develop a better understanding of each other’s perspective on issues of common interest. In addition, this regularly occurring activity has enhanced our relationship with those presenting the information of interest.

Water Quality Sampling Personnel from the NPPD Environmental Department assisted the NDEQ with the Nebraska Recreational Season Water Quality Monitoring Program. Statewide, the NDEQ collects water samples on a weekly basis during the summer (April to September) to gather information on the quality of the state’s water resources. The samples are monitored for E-coli, an indicator bacteria used to NPPD Environmental Specialists Justin King and Russ Nyffeler detect the presence of other harmful pathogens, bacteria and viruses. The information gathered is also used to inform the general public of the quality of Nebraska’s recreational waters. In 2009, NPPD personnel took water samples from Loup Power District’s Lake North near Columbus. The NDEQ provided training and test equipment, and NPPD personnel collected water samples, ran water tests and submitted results to the NDEQ. NPPD /ND EQ ANNUA L REPORT


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SHARED RESOURCES

Lake Ogallala Renovation In 2004, Lake Ogallala was identified as impaired, due to low levels of dissolved oxygen. To aid in determining potential causes of the dissolved oxygen and to pinpoint, if necessary, changes needed to maintain the coldwater fishery, personnel from the University of Nebraska performed water quality modeling of the lake. NPPD, Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and NDEQ partnered on the modeling, which was completed in late 2004. During 2006, the partners in the Lake Ogallala project created a water quality management plan for the lake. The plan outlined several items that could be implemented to reduce impacts of low dissolved oxygen and increase circulation within the lake. In spring 2007, grants were received from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Control Program. Subsequently, application for a site specific 404 permit was made to and granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. On February 20, 2009, final project approval was received from the Corps. Renovation work, including dredging a 50-foot wide and 6,500-foot long (approximate) Lake Ogallala Project channel, was completed December 3, 2009 – well ahead of the scheduled completion date set for the spring of 2010. The channel will provide both the depth and increased circulation needed to help re-establish the value of the lake as a fishery.

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9 Refrigerator Recycling Working together toward joint goals of reducing landfill waste, recycling and saving energy, NPPD and NDEQ continued participation in the Refrigerator Recycling Program for 2009. The program is a partnership with refrigerator recycling specialist JACO Environmental, who is responsible for marketing the program and collection of the old units. NPPD residential customers and the customers of its wholesale partner utilities are eligible for the program. To qualify, secondary refrigerators and freezers must be in operating order and measure between 10 and 30 cubic feet in size.

SHARED RESOURCES

In 2009, 1,817 units were collected. Metal, plastic, glass and other material was separated and recycled. Toxic materials, like Freon and mercury, were extracted, rendered harmless and disposed of in a safe manner. The program resulted in the following types and volumes of material for recycling:

An example of units collected during the 2009 refrigerator recycling program

• Steel – 181,700 pounds • Aluminum – 5,451 pounds • Plastic – 36,340 pounds • Tempered glass – 2,726 pounds • Refrigerants, oil and mercury switches

In addition, the program has resulted in a lifetime savings of 23,534,511 kilowatt hours of electricity and associated emissions.

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PUBLIC OUTREACH

Our outreach efforts allow us to help communities, teach our youth and share our knowledge with business and industry.

— Joe L. Citta, Jr. Corporate Environmental Manager Nebraska Public Power District

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11 public outreach Public outreach activities held in 2009 included:  

PUBLIC OUTREACH

1) Elkhorn Water Daze - Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District – February 18-19 2) Methane Workshop and associated methane Webinar - NPPD and NDEQ – Feb. 21 3) Recycle Your Cycles - Keep Scottsbluff/Gering Beautiful – May 2 4) Children’s Groundwater Festival - City of Grand Island – May 12 5) Consultant’s Day - NPPD and NDEQ – June 3 6) Energy Camp in Halsey - National Rural Electric Association – July 16 7) Carbon Sequestration Workshop - NPPD and NDEQ – August 27

Carbon sequestration Following a successful Carbon Sequestration Workshop and a related geologic sequestration presentation at the 2008 Power Summit, NPPD and NDEQ coordinated a day-long Carbon Sequestration Workshop on August 27, 2009. There is every indication that promulgation of regulations associated with carbon capture and sequestration is inevitable. In light of these and Refurbished bicycles ready for new owners countless other issues related to carbon capture and sequestration which must be considered by NPPD and NDEQ, the partnership welcomed a chance to provide a forum to discuss such considerations. In February 2009, NPPD became a member of the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership, which is one of seven regional partnerships that make up the Regional Carbon Sequestration NPPD /ND EQ ANNUA L REPORT


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PUBLIC OUTREACH

Partnership Program managed within the U.S. Department of Energy. The PCOR Program features three small-scale geologic CO2 sequestration projects and is developing multiyear, commercialscale demonstration projects. In addition, the PCOR Partnership is helping to determine “best practices” for carbon sequestration in the landscapes of the northern Great Plains.

cONSULTANT’S dAY This conference, held June 3, 2009, hosted architectural and engineering firms and consultants from throughout the state. Programs presented by NDEQ contained information associated with new or revised regulations and other issues of concern. NPPD provided significant logistical support. While the day is primarily aimed at environmental consultants and engineers, an increasing number of business owners, utilities and others who have been required to comply with environmental rules and regulations have been attending.

mETHANE Methane recovery from livestock operations was one of the first major topics addressed by our environmental partnership. As a result of that early effort, a highly successful Methane Recovery Workshop was held in York in 2002. While planning for that workshop, partnership members became aware that there were many organizations with keen interest in the potential methane recovery holds for Nebraska’s livestock operations. As a result, an informal Methane Recovery Workgroup was formed and discussions on benefits of methane capture and use continued. The Workgroup sponsored a second Methane Recovery Workshop on

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13 February 21, 2009 in York. Approximately 150 livestock operators and consultants from Nebraska and surrounding states were in attendance. Primary planners of the workshop included NDEQ, NPPD, the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development, the Nebraska Energy Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s AgSTAR Program.

PUBLIC OUTREACH

As a follow-up to the workshop, the same organizations sponsored a webinar on July 15, 2009. The webinar, entitled Methane Capture and Use in Nebraska: Feasibility Studies and Financial Resources, was intended to provide the latest information to those interested in initiating a methane recovery project. In December, NPPD, NDEQ, USDA Rural Development, the Nebraska Pork Producers, the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, the Nebraska Energy Office, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Olean Energy and PRIME BioSolutions, all members of the Nebraska Methane Workgroup, formally joined the EPA’s AgSTAR State Partnership. The primary goal of the AgSTAR Partnership is to ensure the latest information on technologies, financial resources, and general Green square game at Elkhorn Water Daze developments in methane capture and recovery are made available to interested parties in the most effective manner.

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CONCLUSION AND NEXT STEPS

We anticipate the NPPD/NDEQ Environmental Partnership team will face a multitude of issues in the coming year. Our team members look forward to a second decade of finding ways to enhance the quality of life for all Nebraskans.

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— Joe P. Francis Associate Director Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality


15 As has been the case since the partnership began, the communication that occurs between our team members is perhaps our most valuable asset. Over the years, our working relationship has steadily grown and many other

CONCLUSION AND NEXT STEPS

organizations have shared in the benefits. Our joint methane efforts serve as a prime example. After NPPD and NDEQ initiated the effort, the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development and the Nebraska Energy Office became coordinating members. Eight organizations, along with NPPD and NDEQ, formed the Nebraska Methane Workgroup, and as a consolidated entity became a member with the EPA in the AgSTAR Methane Partnership. Working together with the AgSTAR programs, the Workgroup stands a better chance of identifying potential benefits in the evolving methane recovery arena. Other collaborations, which were not anticipated in the early years of the partnership, have been realized. NPPD’s economic development program and NDEQ’s Brownfields and Voluntary Cleanup Programs have combined efforts to increase the potential for identification and assessment of properties where expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances or contaminants. NPPD often is at the forefront of the identification of these properties, and both entities are tasked with finding ways to put those properties into productive use. Questions associated with the environmental suitability of these properties often arise and NDEQ can provide resources to address some of those questions. Through the joint efforts of NPPD and NDEQ, the communities and those associated with the development of the subject properties are the beneficiaries of the partnership efforts. Over the 10-year life of the partnership, composition of the partnership team has been remarkably stable. In 2009, three new NDEQ team members, representing the Air, Water and Waste Management Divisions, were welcomed. We would like to take this opportunity to publicly commend the efforts of outgoing team member Patrick O’Brien, NDEQ Water Quality Division representative, for his efforts. Patrick played a key role in Water Quality Sampling, the renovations plan for Lake Ogallala, and he was an active participant in all partnership activities. We anticipate the NPPD/NDEQ Environmental Partnership Team will face a multitude of issues in 2010. Our team members look forward to examining the issues and starting our second productive decade of the Partnership.

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Annual Report is jointly submitted and approved by:

______________________________ Michael J. Linder, Director Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality

____________________________ Ronald D. Asche President & CEO Nebraska Public Power District

______________________________ Joe P. Francis, Associate Director Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality

_____________________________ Joe L. Citta, Jr. Corporate Environmental Manager Nebraska Public Power District

G134118.ZIP 03/10

NPPD NDEQ 2010 Annual Report  

16-page annual report