Gov. Ricketts updates Nebraska COVID-19 response, announces Mead ethanol plant complaint

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 9:13 AM CST
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LINCOLN Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts gave an update on the state’s COVID-19 response.

COVID-19 update

According to Ricketts, Nebraska is at 16% in terms of those who have received the first vaccine dose and over 9% in terms of those who have received the second. He is also reported hospital bed availability is at 38%, ICU beds at 37% available, and 79% of ventilators are available.

“Right now we are at 158 hospitalizations which again is some of the lowest numbers we have seen since July and early August, so that’ all good news,” said Ricketts.

Mead Ethanol Plant update

Attorney General Doug Peterson was in attendance to announce the filing of a complaint against the AltEn ethanol facility in Mead, Nebraska.

According to Peterson, this is one of the largest complaints he has filed and it addresses the Nebraska Environmental Protection Act, the Nebraska Innovative Waste Management Act, as well as numerous permit violations.

“In this particular case, AltEn was given clear directions in what their process should be with regards to how they use the corn and byproduct of the corn in their ethanol facility and also the wastewater treatment facilities and the compliance requirements they have there,” said Peterson.

After extensive testing, according to Peterson, it was made clear that the facility was not complying with the appropriate disposal methods put forth by the state.

“This is a company that is terribly managed and has demonstrated consistent lack of compliance with our environmental laws and the Department Environment and Energy,” said Governor Ricketts.

Now that the lawsuit has been filed, according to Ricketts, Jim Macy with the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy will be able to accept an invitation to Saunders County to address the situation further.

According to Macy, team members with the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy will be on-site during AltEn’s clean up and they will provide updates as they become available.

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