Mead ethanol plant cited for violations dating back to 2018

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 10:39 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy has reports of violations at the AltEn ethanol plant dating back to 2018. The most recent concern has been the plant using treated corn seed containing insecticides.

Mead resident Jody Weible said, “All of this toxic stuff needs to be removed immediately.”

Weible has lived in Nebraska for over 35 years now. She’s spent her most recent ones seeing the Alt En ethanol plant less than a mile away.

“The water needs to be tested to make sure it’s okay and I’m terrified that it’s not,” Weible said.

Weible refers to is the plant having treated seed corn in its wastewater potentially leaking into the city’s water supply.

According to the Saunders Co. attorney, this is one of two ethanol plants in the U.S. using treated seed corn.

But, this isn’t a recent issue. Records from NDEE show, in 2019, tests found 4 chemicals used on the treated seed corn far exceeded levels the EPA determines to be safe.

Weible said, “They can not feed that leftover product to the cattle because it’s toxic.”

NDEE has cited the plant for violations each year since 2018. Officials determined the plant was in non-compliance in 2018, 2020 and 2021.

The last letter coming just over a week ago after the plant spilled 4 million gallons of wastewater.

“I don’t know what they can do to make it right because they’ve proven themselves untrustworthy,” Weible said.

The state said the plant submitted a plan for clean-up a day after the letter of non-compliance. At this point, it’s unknown when this issue will be resolved leaving people in Mead waiting for answers.

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