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Governor Approves Changes in Law Relating to Water, Irrigation and Natural Resources (LB 1098)

on Monday, 12 May 2014 in Dirt Alert: David C. Levy, Editor

Governor Heineman approved Legislative Bill 1098 on April 9, 2014. LB 1098 reconstructs the make-up and duties of the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission by increasing the number of appointed members to fourteen, describing the categories that members will represent, and by setting the future term of newly appointed members among other things.

LB 1098 also states the intent of the newly created Water Sustainability Fund and the manner in which funds shall be distributed across the state. It provides the criteria, requirements, and priority for distribution of the funds and allows for grants and loans. To obtain grants and loans, applicants must complete an application describing the nature and purpose of the proposed program, project or activity. LB 1098 provides the process of approval of those applications. It also requires the creation of a biennial report describing the work accomplished by the use of the funds.

Furthermore, LB 1098 changes certain provisions relating to occupation taxes imposed by national resources districts and water storage, provides for development of basin-wide plans, requires a public hearing on ground water augmentation projects under the Nebraska Ground Water Management and Protection Act and changes provisions relating to assessment of irrigated cropland.

For information regarding LB 1098 and a copy of the final slip law visit the Nebraska Legislature’s website.

Pedro A. Salazar

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