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Bazile Groundwater Management Area Plan Approved by EPA
The Lewis & Clark NRD is involved in the first “local” Groundwater Management Plan approved in the District. Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and the Nebraska Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) are proud to announce the acceptance of the Bazile Groundwater Management Area (BGMA) Plan (large document please be patient for download) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on October 13 th , 2016. The BGMA Plan is the first groundwater-focused plan in the nation to address nonpoint source pollution. The plan is the result of a collaborative effort to address groundwater nitrate contamination between NDEQ and four of Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts: Lewis and Clark NRD, Lower Elkhorn NRD, Lower Niobrara NRD, and the Upper Elkhorn NRD.
“EPA’s main focus has always been surface water quality because of the way the federal Clean Water Act is written,” Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Water Quality Division Administrator, Marty Link, P.G. said. “Nebraska relies heavily on groundwater for our source of drinking water, making the success of this planning process and the plan itself so vitally important – for the state and the nation.”
The BGMA covers 756 square miles in northeast Nebraska and is home to 10 communities and over 7,000 residents. Groundwater in the BGMA is the only drinking water source for communities and rural residents. Extensive row crop and sandy soils make it easy for nutrients from land-applied manure and commercial fertilizer to leach into the groundwater. The NRDs have collected data on groundwater nitrate concentrations since 1980. During that time, average nitrate concentrations have increased with some areas exceeding 30 mg/L, three times the levels safe for drinking water. People in the area are now realizing that the nitrate problem has been building for 50 or more years and that both long and short term goals and actions are needed to address the problem.
The plan focuses on reducing nitrates to safe drinking levels below 10 mg/L in the groundwater by progressively adopting more protective Best Management Practices (BMPs) throughout the BGMA with priority focus on community wellhead protection areas. Through the development of the BGMA Plan, the NRDs have created a cohesive strategy to monitor nitrate reductions in groundwater.
2016 Bazile Annual Reporting Forms
Landowners and/or operators of the Bazile Groundwater Management Area 2016 annual report due April 1st2017.
To learn more about the Rules and Regulations affecting the Bazile Groundwater Management Area in the Lewis and Clark NRD take a look at our brochure.
Cedar-Knox RWP - 2016 Annual Water Quality Report
Lewis and Clark Natural Resources District Integrated Management Plan Approved
On July 28th the Lewis and Clark Natural Resources District and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources held a hearing at the Lewis & Clark NRD Office after which the Lewis & Clark NRD Board approved adoption of an Integrated Water Management Plan the agencies developed to protect groundwater and surface water quantity for the parts of Dixon, Cedar and Knox Counties in the Lewis & Clark NRD. The plan is available for on-line viewing or at the office of the Lewis & Clark NRD in Hartington.
The overarching purpose of this IMP is to provide a framework for joint management of groundwater and surface water resources to ensure the long term availability of both resources, so that existing users are protected.