Nebraska Attorney General files lawsuit against AltEn, Mead-based ethanol plant

The state announced a lawsuit against AltEn, an ethanol plant based in Mead, for violating...
The state announced a lawsuit against AltEn, an ethanol plant based in Mead, for violating environmental protection laws.(WOWT)
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 11:51 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraska’s Attorney General announced Monday the state is suing AltEn, an ethanol company in Mead that’s been charged with violating environmental protection laws.

Attorney General Doug Peterson said he filed a complaint in the District County Court for the specific violations of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act and multiple violations of permit conditions.

Peterson said AltEn is unique as far as Ethanol plants in the state because it uses discarded seed corn, rather than normal field corn to produce ethanol. This results in byproducts contaminated with pesticides, including contaminated distillers grains and contaminated wastewater.

Peterson said the AltEn has three lagoons which hold contaminated waste water which have high levels of contaminants. AltEn also has large piles of contaminated distillers grain on its property.

They’ve been asked to get rid of all of the grain and wastewater but haven’t done so, Peterson said. They were given a deadline of March 1, 2021 in 2019 and they said as of today the deadline had been missed and the stockpiles are an ongoing threat to the environment.

They said the lawsuit was their last ditch effort to get compliance.

“Typically it doesn’t come to the point of a lawsuit until it becomes apparent that the company is not going to comply with mandates and directives,” Peterson said.

Governor Pete Ricketts added that AltEn is a company that is “terribly managed.”

The lawsuit seeks the disposal of all bi-products, complaints with state statutes, permit conditions and the order of the director and civil penalties which could be as much as $10,000 per day per violation.

READ MORE: Mead ethanol plant cited for violations dating back to 2018

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