This is follow-up on this morning’s article about the environmental catastrophe at the AltEn facility at Mead, Nebraska. The video below is of the panel presentation by Indigenous leaders of the Great Plains Action Society and Ní Btháska Stand.
Overview: Join frontline and local Indigenous Peoples from Nebraska as they weigh in on the recent environmental catastrophe on stolen land in Nebraska created by the Big-Ag industry–mainly Bayer-Ag and Syngenta.
Indigenous organizers were the first on the ground to document the catastrophe and bring light to the media and state about AltEn’s irresponsible actions. An ethanol plant just outside of Mead, NE that has been using pesticide-laden seed corn discharged 4 million gallons of contaminated wastewater generated by the facility when a pipe broke on February 12, 2020.
The result is an environmental disaster that has people calling Mead the next Flint event. Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy has since issued an emergency order to close AltEn immediately and to cease any more discharges into its wastewater lagoons as this plant is “likely to cause and may have already caused” pollution of the air, land, and water. (Omaha World-Herald)
Residents of Mead, NE soon reported that they smelt a strange odor in the air and then experienced bloody noses, headaches, upper respiratory distress. Entire bee colonies have since collapsed and important scientific research from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has been destroyed as the toxins run through their fields.
Very importantly, AltEn sits over the Todd Valley Aquifer as well as the periphery of the very important and much larger Ogallala Aquifer that supplies drinking water to millions. The Ogallala Aquifer has been a protected site for years, particularly by opponents of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which was just canceled by the Biden Administration at approximately the same time as the AltEn catastrophe.
Mead residents have submitted many complaints to the State about AltEn since 2015 leading to dozens of citations for environmental infractions. It is also vital that Indigenous Peoples weigh in on this issue and demand the state to take accountability for siding with corrupt corporate entities for the sake of profit over the health and safety of millions.