Report examines pollution in Nebraska's waterways

Jun 24, 2014

A new report says Nebraska has the sixth most polluted waterways in the nation.

The report by Environment America Research and Policy Center looked at the pounds of toxic chemicals dumped in to waterways by industrial operations. Environment America found that more than 10.5 million pounds of chemicals were dumped in to Nebraska waterways in 2012.

John Rumpler, Senior Attorney with Environment America, says of particular concern in Nebraska is high levels of nitrates in the water.

"Nitrates in high concentrations in the water can pose a threat to infants in the form of something known as Blue Baby Syndrome. But more commonly, nitrates belong to the group that cause algae blooms and dead zones in our waterways."

The report identifies Tyson Fresh Meats as the biggest polluter in Nebraska. The Lower Platte River ranks sixth in the report for most toxic discharges---more than 3.7 million pounds.

The full report is available at