AltEn Community Update from the Facility Response Group

The below information has been provided in an effort to help keep the community informed on a more frequent basis about progress at the AltEn site. 

Ever since AltEn ceased operations at its facility in Mead in 2021, the AltEn Facility Response Group (FRG) has been voluntarily working under the guidance of the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) to stabilize the AltEn site and develop a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) for the site. The FRG’s top priorities have been and continue to be to help ensure the safety of the surrounding community and environment. To-date, there has been no evidence of impacts to local drinking water.

The FRG is working diligently with the NDEE to identify the most effective and safest methods to address the current environmental conditions on the AltEn site. The remedial action plans (RAP) will recommend remediation for components remaining on-site, including wastewater, sludge, and wet cake.

November 8, 2022

Groundwater Monitoring Updates

The NDEE and the FRG have been conducting additional groundwater testing following the detection of active ingredients in one groundwater well adjacent to the Northwest AltEn lagoon, and the NDEE has shared the results of its most recent groundwater sampling of the 10 wells on-site. MW-5, the well adjacent to the Northwest AltEn lagoon, continues to be the only groundwater monitoring well where two of the constituents are present at a concentration exceeding a health-based screening level.

NDEE testing has consistently shown no evidence of impacts to local drinking water. The AltEn site is downgradient from the Village of Mead’s public water supply, and there has been no indication in continued monitoring or sampling that suggests the presence of pesticides in the water supply.

The final deep monitoring well has been installed, and additional groundwater sampling occurred on October 26. Results of the groundwater sampling will be shared once available.

Solutions for Wastewater

The FRG has treated more than 43.1 million gallons of wastewater since commencing water treatment in 2021, including 14 million gallons in 2021 and 29.1 million gallons so far in 2022. A total of 35 million gallons of wastewater are estimated to be treated by the end of 2022, which will bring the total volume of wastewater treated in 2021 and 2022 to 49 million gallons. Treatment will stop for the winter months and re-start in spring 2023.

Nearly 21 million gallons of treated water will be applied to nearby farms by December 1, as a nutrient-rich benefit for crop health, at the invitation of those property owners. This process is already underway, and is in addition to the 8.6 million gallons that were already applied earlier in the year. The FRG worked with the NDEE to meet several regulatory steps and secure permits required for this process. The FRG also has partnered with the Saunders County Highway Department so that treated water can be safely piped under roads and onto nearby fields.

Potential Solutions for Remaining Wet Cake and Sludge Solids

The FRG continues to assess site conditions, gather additional data about the solids at the AltEn site and complete its exhaustive due diligence on viable solutions to best inform the Solids Remediation Action Plan (RAP). The FRG intends to submit the recommendation for the Solids RAP to the NDEE this winter.