OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have given initial approval to a bill that would bar ethanol plants from using chemically treated seed corn to make their product in response to a small-town facility that’s facing heavy criticism and a lawsuit for repeated environmental violations.
The measure that lawmakers advanced 43-0 is aimed at the AltEn Ethanol plant in Mead, a town of 567 people about 35 miles west of Omaha. The plant is the only one in Nebraska that uses pesticide-covered seed corn that’s considered unsuitable for other uses, such as animal feed. For years, residents of Mead have complained about a stench coming from the plant and complained about bloody noses, headaches and trouble breathing.
READ MORE: Nebraska regulators sue AltEn plant near Mead, citing pollution | "Greed and poison": Mead residents talk on ethanol plant shut down by regulators | Frozen pipe causes wastewater leak at Mead ethanol plant