North Platte NRD Public Hearing on Allocations

The North Platte NRD will be holding two public hearings to take testimony from the public on proposed amendments to the District's Integrated Management Plan (IMP) and the Rules and Regulations for the Enforcement of the Nebraska Ground Water Management and Protection Act (Rules). Both hearings will be held on April 4, 2013, at the NRD office in Scottsbluff. The first hearing on the IMP will start at 7:00 p.m., MDT and the second hearing on the Rules will start at 7:15 p.m. or immediately following the first hearing.

The first public hearing is a joint hearing between the NRD and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the proposed amendments to the IMP. The proposed amendments to the IMP include: (1) inclusion of language related to the use of the occupation tax authority authorize by Neb. Rev. Stat. ยง 2-3226.05 for qualified projects; (2) changing the allocation in the overappropriated portion of the NRD, excluding the Pumpkin Creek Subarea, from 56 acre-inches per acre for four years to 70 acre-inches per acre for five years; and (3) removing obsolete language. Since the IMP is a joint document between the NRD and DNR, both entities must approve any amendments.

The second public hearing is on the proposed changes to Chapters 6 & 7 of the Rules. The proposed amendments to the Rules are as follows:

1. Changing the allocation in the overappropriated portion of the NRD, excluding the Pumpkin Creek Subarea, from 56 acre-inches per acre for four years to 70 acre-inches per acre for five years. This change is the same amendment that is being proposed for the IMP because this proposed change to the allocation cannot be implemented if the IMP is not similarily amended.

2. Allowing pre-existing allocation units (PAUs) to be included in designated allocation units (DAUs). Under the current rules, PAUs are not allowed to be included in DAUs.

3. Allowing landowners to relinquish DAUs at any time during the current allocation period. Under existing rules, DAUs cannot be relinquished by the landowner before the end of the allocation period.

4. Changing the DAU application deadline to May 15.

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