Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Jim Macy, head of the newly created Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, recently celebrated the merger of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the Nebraska Energy Office.
After the passage of LB302 in the Nebraska Legislature, the two agencies are merging into the Department of Environment and Energy (DEE), effective July 1.
"This merger will make state government services more efficient, effective and customer-focused," Ricketts says. "The two agencies have a number of related functions and similar goals, and their services to Nebraskans will be enhanced by combining their efforts. The newly consolidated agency will be able to take a longer-term, more strategic approach to helping grow Nebraska as we work to be a good steward of our natural resources and promote energy efficiency."
Macy has served as the director of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality for the past four years, and he has led the Nebraska Energy Office for several months as acting director.
"The two agencies have many common purposes, and we expect to see many positive benefits by combining and unifying our efforts," Macy says. "Merging the two agencies will create greater depth in staffing and minimize duplication of jobs. It also improves the delivery of environmental and energy programs and policies statewide."
The event was held at a construction site in the Fallbrook area of Lincoln, which will be the new home for DEE in about a year. Macy says the new site will house all DEE's employees in one location and will have room for future expansion.
He says the move also will provide cost savings compared with having staff and equipment in multiple locations.