Regulators admit that they let an ethanol plant pollute a small Nebraska town for years
The residents of Mead, Nebraska, are outraged after environmental regulators acknowledged that, under their oversight, an ethanol plant named AltEn spent years contaminating the area with unsafe levels of pesticides, reports The Guardian. Accidental spills and leaks of the plant’s pesticide-laden waste have only made the situation worse. In addition to unexplained ailments in people and dogs, fish die-offs have been reported downstream from the plant, honeybee colonies have been decimated, and state officials have received reports of sick and dying geese and other birds. Some of the world’s largest agricultural companies, who make and sell seeds coated in different chemicals to protect growing crops from insects and disease, have been implicated. Bayer AG, which purchased Monsanto in 2018, along with Syngenta, Corteva, and other companies, dumped unwanted pesticide-treated seeds at AltEn, which advertised itself as a “green recycling” location. The plant has been ordered to close and these companies are now involved in the clean-up, but the long-term impact of the pollution remains.