Updates for the Lower Platte Natural Resources District Board and Saunders County Supervisors

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.

August 14, 2023

Updates for the Lower Platte Natural Resources District Board and Saunders County Supervisors

NewFields recently presented AltEn site updates to the Lower Platte Natural Resources District and Saunders County Supervisors, about site stabilization, water treatment and solids management.

Background & Site Stabilization

AltEn FRG and Regulatory Background General Background 2019 – AltEn started receiving complaints about wet cake odors and land application 2019 – NDEE issued orders to cease land application of wet cake and wastewater 2019 to 2021 – AltEn continued production and accumulated wet cake and wastewater Feb 2021 – Digester tank valve burst and released 4,000,000 gallons of wastewater and sludge Feb 2021 – NDEE ordered AltEn to cease operations until cleanup has been completed AltEn Facility Response Group (FRG) formed to stabilize the Site Six companies with agreements to supply AltEn with seed for ethanol production Members include AgReliant, Bayer, Beck’s, Corteva Agriscience, WinField United, Syngenta AltEn is not a member and not participating in voluntary measures being implemented by the FRG FRG entered the Site into the Nebraska Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding dated June 30, 2021 NewFields retained as the FRG’s technical consultant All work performed in coordination with NDEE
Feb 2021 – Starting Conditions
Current Conditions (June 2023)

Water Treatment

WATER TREATMENT & LAND APPLICATION Water Remedial Action Plan (RAP) approved byNDEE in March 2023 Lagoon Water Treatment 49.4 million gallons treated through 2022 100 million gallons estimated to remain to betreated plus storm water that may accumulate Land Application of Treated Water 30.8 million gallons land applied through Spring 2023 Planning ongoing for Fall 2023 application Pump treated water to properties within 3 miles of Site Land application performed in accordance with NDEE permit Improved water treatment system construction NDEE issued Title 123 permit in July 2023 Operation commenced in August 2023 Initial results are positive – need more operating time to assess

Solids Management

Other Materials (Non-Wet Cake) Removal Photos – Before Transported and disposed of 1,585 tons of non-wet cake materials at WM’s Pheasant Point Landfill
Other Materials (Non-Wet Cake) Removal Photos – During & After Work
Seed Disposal Update Covanta contracted for seed transportation and disposalat its waste-to-energy facility in Tulsa, OK Estimated 6,675 tons of seed Schedule Work commenced on August 1, 2023 4-5 months to complete based on an average of 3-5 trucks/day with more on some days
Solid Waste Pilot Project Update WM contracted to perform the Pilot Pilot will consist of wet cake solidification and transporting up to 24,000 tons to the Pheasant Point Landfill at a rate up to 2 to 6 trucks/hour Site work to commence week of August 21 and transportation will occurbetween September 25 through November 9 Dust and odor mitigation Spraying access roads, wet cake piles and stockpiles with water Covering open wet cake pile excavation faces and solidified material stockpiles withan odor suppressant at end of each day Placing solidified wet cake into truck bed lined withplastic and wrapping plastic over top of the wet cakeand taping it down Air monitoring along downwind perimeter Stormwater management and treatment Truck tire washing and visual inspection prior toexiting the AltEn Site, and daily cleaning of CR 10

Groundwater & Stormwater

Groundwater Monitoring Groundwater flow direction is south-southeast, which is away from Mead Only one monitoring well (AltEn-MW5) has a USEPA Health-Based Screening Level Exceedance NDEE’s groundwater data from private and public water supply wells: No detections of pesticides in Mead public water supply wells Very few detections of pesticides in private water supply wells All detections of pesticides are below USEPA Health-Based Screening Levels. FRG and NDEE continue to monitor groundwater quarterly (4 times/year)
Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) Installed by FRG BMPs reduce stormwater runoff impacts from Site Posi-Shell® on Consolidated Wet Cake Pile and surrounding berms Armored stormwater channels installed as part of Treated Water Ponds construction Added check dams in channels in December 2022 Cleaned out channels as far east as outfall locationand armored channels to reduce erosion potentialin April/May 2023 Stoned and stabilized access roads in April/May 2023 Grass seeding on remaining bare soil in FRG work area
Update: Stormwater Best Management Practices