Administrative Order On Consent Is Final, Omaha Tribal Utilities Program and the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Macy, Nebraska
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the Administrative Order On Consent (Order or AOC), signed on November 10, 2010, between the Omaha Tribal Utilities Program, Omaha Tribal Utilities Commission, and the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Macy, Nebraska, and EPA is final. The Order consolidates the compliance activities for the Omaha Tribal Utilities Program and the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska regarding the open dump located at the Mother Earth Recycling Facility and two public utilities operated by the Omaha Tribe at Macy, Nebraska, which include the public drinking water system and the waste water treatment facility.
EPA held a public comment period and two public meetings regarding this Order. The public comment period started on December 8, 2010. EPA received numerous requests for a public meeting to discuss the AOC. Thus, the original 30-day time frame for public comment was extended until February 17, 2011, after two public meetings were held in the community.
Public meetings were held on February 11 and 12, 2011. Approximately 110 community members attended the two meetings. Comments were received at both meetings. In general, comments were supportive of the work to be performed by the Tribal Utilities Program under the Order. Commenters supported cleanup work at the Mother Earth Recycling Facility and repair work at the Macy Public Water Supply Systems and the Macy Waste Water Treatment Facility.
After evaluating all comments received, both written and at the meetings, EPA has determined that none of the comments require a change to the AOC. Therefore, EPA has determined that no changes are necessary and the AOC is final, effective March 7, 2011.
The Order sets out work and procedures for ceasing the open dumping and burning of municipal solid waste at the Mother Earth Recycling Facility and removing and disposing of the residual wastes at the Facility. The agreement was issued under Section 7003 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which states that EPA must provide an opportunity for public comment, establish an administrative record, and hold a public meeting if requested on these settlements. This Order also requires activities by the Tribal Utilities Program to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). EPA voluntarily accepted public comments on these activities.In addition, EPA prepared and placed in a community library, for public review and comment, a copy of the Administrative Record supporting the cleanup activities necessary at the Mother Earth Recycling Facility. The Administrative Record is located at the Nebraska Indian Community College, Omaha Tribal Public Library, 1111 Highway 75, Macy, Nebraska.
The Mother Earth Recycling Facility contains a metal-sided 70' by 36' building used to store equipment and packaged recyclable items. The Facility is partially fenced, has no gates restricting access, and is staffed with one employee, whose shift is 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. At all other times the grounds at the Facility are uncontrolled and unmonitored.
On March 16, 2010, EPA conducted an inspection in response to concerns of open dumping at the Mother Earth Recycling Facility. During the Facility inspection and other visits, EPA observed different types of waste, including residential waste, medical waste, televisions, computers, used oil, propane and oxygen tanks, tires, scrap metal, appliances, construction debris, furniture, dead animals, and an empty gasoline container.
At the time of the March 16, 2010, inspection, wastes had accumulated in massive piles up to ten feet in height and extending over several thousand square feet of the Facility grounds. Additionally, burning of trash and equipment has occurred at the Facility without any control of the temperature or containment in an enclosed device and with uncontrolled emissions of the combustion products.
Waste has accumulated at the Facility before and was removed once in 2006, and again in April 2009. Waste at the Facility originated from trash collection dumpsters at Tribal offices and schools in nearby Macy, the Tribal Housing complex in Macy, private homeowners in Macy, and rural Tribal residents. During the calendar year 2009, and the winter of 2010, the Omaha Tribal Utilities Program picked up the waste coming from Macy, Nebraska, and disposed of the waste at the Facility. Residents outside of Macy have hauled their own waste to the Facility.
The RCRA settlement requires the Tribal Utilities Program to clean up the Mother Earth Recycling Facility and properly manage municipal solid wastes. EPA and the Tribal Utilities Program consolidated other federal legal requirements for the Macy Drinking Water System and the Macy Waste Water Treatment Facility into this one AOC for purposes of broader environmental protection and enhanced correction of underlying management problems at the Tribal Utilities Program.
EPA established an Administrative Record which includes a copy of the AOC and other relevant documents. The Administrative Record is available for review during normal business hours at the following locations until April 30, 2011:
Nebraska Indian Community College
Omaha Tribal Public Library
1111 Highway 75
U.S. EPA Region 7
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:
Community Involvement Coordinator
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. EPA Region 7
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
Phone: (913) 551-7253 or
Toll Free: (800) 223-0425