Public Notice: Two Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Facilities Located in Thurston County, Nebraska, Within the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa Reservation
1) Proposed Modifications to Wastewater (NPDES) Permits
2) Proposed Certifications of Compliance with Section 401 of Clean Water Act
The CAFO facilities include:
|CAFO Facility Name||NPDES Permit Number||Address|
|Ron Bruns Feedyards - East Place||NE0106526||
1539 Hwy 16, Pender, NE 68047
|Morgan Feedlot LLC||NE0134767||
3007 K Avenue, Walthill, NE 68067
This public notice is issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7 (EPA). EPA is seeking public comments on: 1) the proposed modifications to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and associated Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs), and 2) the proposed certifications of compliance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for two Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) facilities (shown in the table above).
EPA is seeking written comments regarding these proposed Agency actions until Oct. 17, 2021. The address for written comments or to request a public hearing is provided below.
BACKGROUND: NPDES permits to discharge wastewater to waters of the United States are issued under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. Section 1342, subject to certain effluent limitations and other conditions. Ron Bruns Feedyards - East Place and Morgan Feedlot LLC are both CAFO facilities located and operating within the exterior boundaries of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa Reservation. EPA has the authority to issue NPDES permits for these facilities located within Indian country. These facilities have submitted modifications of their NMPs to EPA. Based on the information provided to EPA by these facilities, and application of pertinent standards and regulations, EPA proposes to modify the NPDES permits for these two CAFO facilities to reflect the changes to their NMPs, pursuant to Section 402 of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. Section 1342.
PROPOSED NPDES PERMIT MODIFICATIONS: Ron Bruns Feedyards - East Place submitted a modified NMP for adding two new cattle pens (totaling 2.4 acres) and a structure for diverting clean runoff away from the new pens, without changing the maximum number of animals that can be kept at the facility. Other parts of the NMP, which are considered terms of the NPDES permit, have also been changed, including the levels of waste allowed in the holding pond before pump-out is required. EPA proposes to modify “Table 1 - Operating Level Requirements” on Page 2 of the facility’s permit to reflect these changes. The “Must Pump Level” will be changed from 4.0 feet to 3.0 feet, and the “Winter Pump Down Level” will be changed from 2.5 feet to 2.0 feet. The description of the amount of acreage in pens and acreage contributing to runoff to the holding pond will also be revised.
Morgan Feedlot LLC has also submitted a NMP modification for adding a new field (totaling approximately 18.9 acres) for the application of CAFO wastes. The new application field is located fully within the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa Reservation. This application field is part of the NMP that is considered terms of the permit which EPA proposes to modify.
CERTIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE WITH CWA SECTION 401: Before EPA may modify the NPDES permits for these two CAFO facilities, EPA must certify under Section 401 of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. Section 1341, that discharges to be authorized by these proposed permits will comply with the requirements of Sections 301, 302, 303, 306, and 307 of the CWA, including applicable water quality standards and effluent guidelines and limitations. EPA has reviewed the applicable water quality standards and effluent guidelines and has specified technology-based limitations and conditions in the permits to ensure compliance with such requirements, as described in the proposed modifications to the permits and Statements of Basis. At this time, EPA seeks public comments regarding the Agency’s proposal to certify that the discharges being authorized by the modifications to the NPDES permits for the two CAFO permits will not violate applicable water quality standards or effluent guidelines and limitations.
ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD AVAILABILITY: The Administrative Records for the two proposed NPDES permit modifications (including the proposed permits and Statements of Basis, and Nutrient Management Plans) are available on EPA’s website. To access these online documents, click on the permit numbers in the table above. Copies of these documents are also available at the House Memorial Library, 220 Thurston Ave., Pender, NE 68049 (phone: 402-385-2521). In addition, copies of these documents are available to the public upon request by contacting Alex Owutaka, EPA Region 7, at 913-551-7584 or toll-free at 1-800-223-0425, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO PROVIDE COMMENTS: Any interested persons may submit written comments or a written request for a public hearing on these proposed Agency actions. Any request for a public hearing must state the nature of the issues that the requestor proposes to raise at the hearing. EPA’s rules and procedures governing the issuance of NPDES permits, the public comment period, and public hearings on proposed NPDES permit actions are found at 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 25 and 124. All written comments and any requests for a public hearing should include the CAFO facility name and NPDES permit number and must be submitted by Oct. 17, 2021, to: Glenn Curtis, Chief, Permits and Loans Branch, Water Division, EPA Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, KS 66219.
Applicants or RespondentsRon Bruns Feedyards - East Place
1539 Hwy 16
Pender, NE 68047
3007 K Avenue
Walthill, NE 68067