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Dead Bees, Sick Residents From Pesticide Pollution In Nebraska

“I have been coughing since 2018. It does not go away,” says Jody Weible over the phone from her home in Mead, Nebraska. “It’s like a never-ending sinus infection. I’ve been to a specialist . . . and he definitely thinks it’s environmental.” Weible believes her health issues—and those of many others nearby—are linked to an ethanol plant that is less than a mile from her home. The plant, owned by AltEn, is currently the site of an evolving environmental disaster. While most ethanol is produced using corn, AltEn has been using corn seed that is coated in systemic pesticides since at least 2018. The fermentation and distillation process used to make ethanol has concentrated those chemicals so that the liquid and solid byproducts contain those pesticides at levels that, according to testing done by state agencies, far exceeded what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe.
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