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Senators consider a bill to give regulators authority for environmental cleanups sooner | Govt. Politics

Senators consider a bill to give regulators authority for environmental cleanups sooner | Govt. Politics

In 2016, residents of Mead and the surrounding areas began to file complaints to the Department of Environment and Energy.

Davis and others, including Amy Svoboda, an environmental lawyer, claimed that the bill’s permissive language gave the director too much control over when to take action against polluters.

Svoboda also stated that the bill did not go far enough to define who would be considered responsible for cleanup purposes. He said it could be used against individual front-line employees and not against the entire company.

She suggested that the bill define “responsible party”, which would include the owners, operators, former owners, or operators of a facility as well as any suppliers of any type of waste product.

According to this definition, any seed company that supplied AltEn with discarded seeds treated with pesticides may be held responsible.

The Nebraska Agri-Business Association opposed the bill in a letter. It said it supported Bostelman’s intention but was concerned that seed dealers, haulers, individual growers could be liable for cleanup costs.

Scott Merritt, president of the association, wrote that “our concern is whether commercial vendors could be held liable for improper disposals of products by users.”

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