Notice of Public Hearing RELATING TO THE UPPER NIOBRARA WHITE NATURAL RESOURCES DISTRICT GROUND WATER MANAGEMENT AREA AND GROUND WATER CONTROLS March 3, 2014

The Upper Niobrara White Natural Resources District (UNWNRD) hereby provides notice that a public hearing shall be held on Monday, March 3, 2014, at 2:30 p.m., or immediately following the end of the public information meeting, in Chadron at the Country Kitchen Meeting Room, 1250 West 10th Street.  A public information meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m.  The purpose of the hearing is to collect testimony concerning the proposed amendments to the ground water controls for the Ground Water Management Area (GWMA).  The proposed GWMA controls encompass the entirety of the land area within the UNWNRD.  The following is a general description of the proposed amendments to the GWMA controls: 

Authority – Added reference to statute for Nebraska Chemigation Act;

Section 5. Definitions – proposed amendments to this section are to incorporate new definitions and to modify existing definitions related to the proposed amendments in these rules;

Section 7. Inpections – proposed amendments to this section are to incorporate language for authorities under the Nebraska Chemigation Act; 7.1.3 A compliance inspector shall be authorized to conduct a prompt chemigation inspection without consent or appropriate warrant in emergency situations when there is neither sufficient time nor opportunity to obtain an inspection warrant;

Section 15. Ground Water Controls – 15.6 general guidelines for ground water transfer – language has been added to clarify the transfer rules; 15.6.2 Certified uses will be evaluated prior to allowing ground water transfers.  If agricultural acres are not being watered or taxed as irrigated, then certification will be modified to what is currently irrigated or taxed prior to  determining whether a transfer will be allowed.  If industrial or commercial, the baseline will be evaluated to determine if transfer would result in additional consumption potentially requiring an offset; 15.6.5 (d) a transfer will be approved only once during an allocation period to or from a tract of land; 15.6.6 Emergency temporary transfers may be allowed in an effort to prevent crop loss or to prevent undue harm to the health and safety of human life.  Permission for these cases could be approved by the General Manager or his/her designee, prior to Board review and consideration. The Board will ratify the temporary transfer at the next scheduled monthly Board meeting;

Section 16. Pooling of Irrigated Acres – proposed amendments include clarifying language on historically connected irrigated tracts and potential sanctions for certifying acres as historically connected when those tracts are found to not be connected; 

Section 17. Allocations – proposed amendments include an adjustment to the allocation for sub-areas 4 and 6 and a proposed allocation for sub-areas 1, 2, 3 and 5 and changing the allocation period from a four (4) year to a five (5) year period and a prorated annualized allocation for use(s); 17.1.1.2.2 The 2015-2019 base allocation for sub-areas 4 and 6 will be sixty-five (65) acre-inches for the five (5) year allocation period, which is an annualized allocation of 13 acre-inches; 17.1.1.2.3 The 2015-2019 base allocation for sub-areas 1, 2, 3 and 5 will be seventy-five (75) acre-inches for the five (5) year allocation period, which is an annualized allocation of 15 acre-inches; 17.1.1.2.4 Any use(s) that did not exist at the start of the allocation period will receive an annualized allocation based on the number of years remaining in the allocation period.

Any interested person may appear at the hearing and present written or oral testimony concerning the proposed controls.  Individuals with disabilities may request auxiliary aids and service necessary for participation by contacting the UNWNRD by February 24, 2014.  Testimony relevant to the purposes of the hearing may also be submitted in writing to the Upper Niobrara White Natural Resources District, 430 East Second Street, Chadron, NE 69337; or by electronic mail to the UNWNRD at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5:00 p.m., March 10, 2014. 

For further information regarding the proposed controls, or for the full text of the amended rules and regulations, refer to the UNWNRD website, at http://www.unwnrd.org, contact the UNWNRD at the address above or contact the UNWNRD at (308) 432-6190.

Published: February 19 and February 26, 2014