Water pollution loan program advanced

A program to fund wastewater treatment efforts was advanced from general file Jan. 23.

Introduced by Holdrege Sen. Tom Carlson, LB514 would authorize the state Department of Environmental Quality to create and regulate a linked deposit program. The program would promote loans for the construction, rehabilitation and enhancement of water pollution control projects.

Carlson said the bill would help address clean water issues in the state.

“With this program, the state would be able to support a large number of projects,” he said. “This not only helps individuals, but entire communities.”

The bill also would authorize a portion of loan funds to be deposited with eligible financial institutions in low-yielding deposit accounts, certificates of deposit or other agreed upon deposits for loans at a rate lower than the prevailing rate.

The department also could buy or refinance debt of municipalities for wastewater treatment works under LB514.

A Natural Resources Committee amendment, adopted 25-0, further defined eligible financial institutions to include banks chartered in other states and authorized to conduct business in Nebraska.

Senators voted to advance the bill on a 27-0 vote.

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