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Odors persist as NDEQ, Western Sugar try to resolve retention pond issues

Odors persist as NDEQ, Western Sugar try to resolve retention pond issues

Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality says it continues to work with Western Sugar to resolve odor issues that permeate the Scottsbluff-Gering area over a year after initial citizen complaints.

Spokesperson Brian McManus says the issues, first reported by citizens last spring, stem from wastewater management problems in two Western Sugar retention ponds. McManus says the agency issued an administrative order last summer to correct the issue, which Western Sugar then contested. McManus says as discussions continue the agency believes the odors are tied to resolving the wastewater management issues.

McManus says the state has asked Western Sugar to submit planning documents and engineering plans for necessary upgrades to the retention ponds, although there is no time frame for the improvements.

McManus says the state is aware Western Sugar was fined for environmental problems at their Fort Morgan plant, but maintains the NDEQ is only concerned about what happens in Nebraska.

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