SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. – Landowners in the North Platte Natural Resources District are reminded that chemigation permits issued in 2017 need to be renewed by June 1.
New permits can be applied for at any time before a landowner starts chemigating. The Nebraska Chemigation Act requires any person who intends to apply chemicals through an irrigation system must first obtain a permit from the NRD. Staff would like to encourage producers that would like to chemigate, to be permitted in order to help protect ground water from contamination. Certification is granted by the Department of Environmental Quality after the applicant attends an educational course sponsored by the UN-L Cooperative Extension Service.
Renewal permits are $20, new permits are $50 and emergency permits are $200. Emergency permits are valid for 45 days after date issued. According to North Platte NRD general manager John Berge, any renewal forms submitted after the June 1 deadline will not be valid and landowners will have to re-apply for chemigation permits.
The staff at the NRD would like to remind producers and landowners there has been some changes to the Nebraska Chemigation Act. The biggest change is the increase in the amount of most penalties, which now range from $1000 to $5000 per day. The NRD has stepped up enforcement.
In order to prevent producers from unknowingly being out of compliance, the NRD would like to remind any irrigator that if they are chemigating using any of the following irrigation practices (e.g. pumping water out of a canal, steam or the river; subsurface drip; closed system on commingled wells; or pumping ground water) need to be permitted. The main reason for requiring a chemigation valve on irrigation wells is to prevent the chemicals from going into the ground or back to the canal, stream, or river. If you have any questions about whether or not your irrigation system is in compliance, NRD staff are available to come out and answer them. Spills need to be reported with 24 hours to the NRD and Nebraska of Departmental Quality at 402-471-2186 during normal business hours and the State Patrol at 402-471-4545 after business hours.
Prior to permit approval, the NRD must also complete an on-site inspection for required safety equipment which protects against chemical spills and prevents personal injury. The issued permits are then good for one year.
For more information, call the NPNRD office at (308) 632-2749 or stop by the office at 100547 Airport Road in Scottsbluff. Additional information about chemigation permits and a chemigation permit application are also available on the NPNRD website at www.npnrd.org.