The effort to determine the scope of AltEn Ethanol's effects on the surrounding area is not the first time residents of Saunders County have experienced environmental contamination on an industrial scale.
The emergency declaration will allow Saunders County to spend emergency funds, invoke mutual aid and apply for emergency assistance from the state for cleanup efforts after the wastewater spill.
On Thursday, AltEn submitted a plan to recover the discharged waste with the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, which is overseeing the task.
Wastewater has traveled more than 4 miles downstream after frozen pipes burst last week at an ethanol plant near Mead, state officials said. The state has ordered more barriers, continued monitoring.
"It’s important that this practice stop," Nebraska lawmakers were told Wednesday about an ethanol plant near Mead that uses pesticide-treated seed to produce fuel.
Residents of Mead, which is about 12 miles west of Omaha’s city limits, say they fear that the plant's waste is causing health problems, contaminating the land and harming wildlife.
A bill that would prohibit the use of "treated seed corn" in the production of ethanol targets a plant near Mead that uses corn coated in fungicides and pesticides.
Check out a roundup of the first-round games in the Class D-1 state volleyball tournament.