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Preliminary results released on Mead AltEn ethanol plant toxic waste study

Posted at 9:38 AM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 10:50:54-04

MEAD, Neb. (KMTV) — Preliminary results were released Thursday from a study on toxic waste that was improperly stored at the AltEn ethanol plant in Mead.

It shows the chemicals in the waste were also found in homes around the plant, but not at levels the EPA considers dangerous.

Researchers found some of the insecticides and fungicides used to treat the corn processed at AltEn in a home near the ethanol plant, but at levels that were 10 to 100 times lower than what the EPA considers harmful.

Researchers say they also found elevated levels of the chemicals in the nearby Johnson Creek and Reservoir, which they believe is responsible for killing most of the wildlife living in and around the creek.

"We have found that these compounds have traveled down a number of creeks, in particular Johnson Creek, which runs into the Platte. We found that although the levels of insecticides and fungicides itself are going down, the levels of transformation products from them, some of which are also toxic are going up. So the problem isn't going away," said Dr. Eleanor Rogan with UNMC.

Researchers say they plan to continue their study through at least the end of 2022.

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