LINCOLN — Governor Ricketts applauded news that the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and the City of Lincoln have developed an integrated online system to streamline the process for Lincoln applicants to apply for and receive construction stormwater permits.
“My administration is constantly working to create a more customer-focused experience at all levels,” said Governor Ricketts. “This news builds on our previous efforts which have reduced wait times for permits by putting the application process online. Lincoln’s job creators and families will benefit greatly from the new integrated application from the City of Lincoln and our Environmental Quality team.”
Since 2016, NDEQ has moved to an online process for applicants across the state to submit construction stormwater applications. This new application process involves those who are planning construction projects of an acre or larger. To be covered under the stormwater construction general permit from NDEQ, applicants need to verify that they have a stormwater pollution prevention plan.
The online process prevents the need for NDEQ staff to re-input information submitted by the applicant, and reduces lag time of paperwork being sent back and forth. Previously, it could take several weeks for an applicant to receive coverage. Through the new process, the timeframe has been reduced to about one day for most applications.
As part of Lincoln’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit from NDEQ, the City of Lincoln implements construction site inspections and enforcement, construction plan reviews, construction site inventories, contractor education for stormwater controls and other construction related activities. The City of Lincoln performs those duties through a local permitting process.
Under the new combined State and City system, what was two applications is now one. The opportunity arose when the City of Lincoln began utilizing OnBase software, the same system used by NDEQ. Officials met to discuss options for streamlining the permitting process and ensuring compliance. As a result, NDEQ modified the state’s online application process so that those applicants who identify themselves as being within Lincoln boundaries will now have their applications sent to the state and the city. Final permit approval is granted after both NDEQ and the City of Lincoln have reviewed the permit. The project is closed with NDEQ only after final inspection is performed by the City. The collaborative work also sped the City of Lincoln’s efforts to offer online stormwater permitting.
“With the new process, a Lincoln applicant submits their information one time, and it goes straight to the appropriate staff at the state and the city who need to review the information,” said NDEQ Deputy Director Dennis Burling. “This ensures the state and city have received consistent information related to the application, and it will save everybody time and effort.”
“The City of Lincoln is open for business and economic investment,” said Donna Garden, Assistant Director of Lincoln Public Works and Utilities. “Offering convenient online permitting and a seamless, efficient process between NDEQ and the City are important parts of that promise. We appreciate NDEQ’s collaboration on this initiative.”
As of November 1, 2017, NDEQ has processed over 1,700 construction stormwater permits through the online system. The City of Lincoln launched its online construction stormwater permitting program in early November. To apply online for coverage under the state’s general stormwater construction permit, visit NDEQ’s web site at http://deq.ne.gov and select “Permits and Authorizations.” More information about the City of Lincoln’s stormwater permitting process is available at http://lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: NOI).
— Office of Governor Pete Ricketts
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