A guide to the regulations and requirements of Nebraska law affecting chemigators in the Twin Platte Natural Resources District.
CHEMIGATION APPLICATORS MUST BE CERTIFIED:
Whether or not the permit holder is certified, the person who actually applies chemicals through an irrigation system MUST be certified.
Certification consists of attending a course of instruction offered by the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, passing a written exam, and receiving the yellow chemigation certification card.
Check with the Twin Platte Natural Resources District or County Extension Office for dates and times of the courses.Certification is good for four years, after which renewals are required.
The Twin Platte Natural Resources District should be notified by the permit-holder of a change of certified applicators.
An actual or suspected accident, relating to the use of chemigation, must be reported within 24 hours of its discovery.
Notification should be made by telephone during normal working hours to:
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Twin Platte Natural Resources District
After hours or on weekends and holidays, notification should be made to the Nebraska State Patrol.
Notification should include (if known) the time of occurrence, quantity and type of material, location, and any corrective or cleanup actions presently being taken.
Six specific equipment requirements are included in the laws relating to chemigation. These items must be in place before any system is approved for a permit, and must also be in place and in use during any application.
MAINLINE CHECK VALVE:
An irrigation line check valve must be located in the pipeline between the irrigation pump and the point of chemical injection into the irrigation pipeline. The check valve must stop the water and chemicals from draining or siphoning back into the irrigation well. The check valve must have a positive closing action and a watertight seal. It should be easy to repair and maintain.
VACUUM RELIEF VALVE:
A vacuum relief valve must be located on the pipeline between the irrigation pump and the mainline check valve. The valve allows air into the pipeline when the water flow stops, preventing a vacuum that could cause siphoning.
An inspection port must be located between the irrigation pump discharge and the mainline check valve. The inspection port enables the operator to make a visual inspection for possible leaks of the check valve. The vacuum relief valve connection often serves as the inspection port.
AUTOMATIC LOW PRESSURE DRAIN:
The low pressure drain, made of corrosion-resistant material and having at least a three-quarter inch orifice, must be located on the bottom of the horizontal pipe between the irrigation pump and the irrigation pipeline check valve. The drain must discharge at least 20 feet from the water source. The drain inlet should not extend beyond the inside surface of the pipe unless a check dam is also present. This drain will help keep any water/chemical mixture away from the irrigation water source if the mainline valve leaks.
CHEMICAL INJECTION LINE CHECK VALVE:
A chemical injection line check valve must be located between the point of chemical injection into the irrigation pipeline and the chemical injection pump. This valve shall be chemical resistant. With a minimum opening of 10 psi, this check valve is needed to stop the flow of water from the irrigation system into the chemical supply tank, and to prevent gravity flow from the chemical supply tank through the injection pump and into the irrigation pipeline after a system shutdown.
SIMULTANEOUS INTERLOCK DEVICE:
The irrigation pump and the chemical injection pump need to be interlocked so that if the irrigation pump stops, the chemical injection pump will also stop. The interlock may be electrical or mechanical. This interlock prevents the pumping of chemicals from the supply tank into the irrigation pipeline after the irrigation pump stops.
The Twin Platte Natural Resources District should be notified within 72 hours of any replacement or alterations involving chemigation equipment. The Twin Platte Natural Resources District must then make an inspection. If compliant, the permit will be continued. If the equipment does not comply, the permit must be suspended until compliance is achieved and the Twin Platte Natural Resources District gives approval to the permit.
AS REQUIRED BY LAW, THE TWIN PLATTE NATURAL RESOURCES DISTRICT WILL CONDUCT AREA-WIDE, SELECTIVE, AND PERIODIC INSPECTIONS TO ENSURE CHEMIGATION ACT COMPLIANCE.
Types of Chemigation Permits:
By state law, a chemigation permit MUST be obtained before any person can legally chemigate. Chemigation refers to the injection of any ag chemical, including fertilizer, into irrigation water.
PERMITS EXPIRE JUNE 1ST THAT WERE ISSUED THE PREVIOUS YEAR:
Renewals can be obtained by submitting permit applications by that date.
Renewal permits for each site can be issued without an inspection; however, the Twin Platte Natural Resources District is required to reinspect systems in operation on a regular basis.
To renew, enclose $20.00 with your completed application form sent to the Twin Platte Natural Resources District, PO Box 1347, North Platte, NE 69103-1347.
Renewal applications received after the permit expires on June 1 must comply with provisions for new permits, including a fee of $40.00 and a required inspection before the permit can be issued.
The fee for a new permit is $40.00, which must be enclosed with the application to the Twin Platte Natural Resources District, PO Box 1347, North Platte, NE 69103-1347. Permit application forms can be obtained from the same office address.
Twin Platte Natural Resources District will review completed applications, then conduct an inspection of the system. Approval (or denial) of the application is required within 45 days after the application is filed.
An emergency permit, costing $100.00 and valid for 45 days, may be issued by the Twin Platte Natural Resources District, which has 48 hours to act on an application for such a permit. Such permitholders must comply with all chemigation rules and regulations.
A chemigation system must be inspected before a new permit may be issued, and periodic inspections are required for systems under a renewal permit to ensure compliance with the Chemigation Act.
NEW PERMIT INSPECTION:
The system is required to be started, brought to normal operating pressure, and shut down.
A permitholder or applicator must be present during the Twin Platte Natural Resources District inspection. The Twin Platte Natural Resources District staff will not operate any irrigation or chemigation equipment, nor will they open any electrical control box.
To meet the Chemigation Act requirements that each Natural Resources District conducts area-wide for both selective and periodic inspections, the Twin Platte Natural Resources District requires a full inspection, which involves a start-up and shutdown of the chemigation system, to be performed a minimum of once every four years.
NON-PERMITTED CHEMIGATION SYSTEMS:
The Twin Platte Natural Resources District is also required by law to make area-wide selective and periodic inspections of non-permitted irrigation systems. The Twin Platte Natural Resources District will also investigate complaints concerning non-permitted systems.
In cases of non-compliance and subsequent lack of cooperation by an irrigator, the Twin Platte Natural Resources District may apply to the district court or county court in which the irrigation system is located, for an inspection warrant to allow the Twin Platte Natural Resources District’s employees entry onto the irrigator’s property to carry out duties under the Chemigation Act.