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Mead unanimously votes to revoke ethanol plant’s permit

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 3:55 PM CDT
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MEAD, Neb. (WOWT) - After hearing from the public Tuesday night, the board for the Village of Mead voted unanimously to revoke the conditional-use permit for the AltEn ethanol plant.

Much of the 30 minutes of debate ahead of the 5-0 vote was whether to suspend or revoke the permit.

The plant had been under scrutiny for using seed corn covered in pesticides and stockpiling the residue on-site. Some residents have said contamination from the plant is making them — and their pets — sick.

In February, the state forced the company to shut down temporarily, and in March sued the company over cleanup of potential groundwater contamination near the plant. When the lawsuit was filed, Gov. Pete Ricketts said the company was “terribly managed.”

On April,12, some Mead residents met to air their grievances. Jody Weible said she noticed a “horrendous smell” in 2018, when the plant started to spread the byproduct onto fields. Paula Dyas, who lives on an acreage near Mead, said, “In 2019, it’s spread again. and the dogs are sick again.”

Earlier in the month, the University of Nebraska Medical Center launched a study into the health and environmental impacts of the plant.

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