[Nameplate] Fog/Mist ~ 46°F  
High: 67°F ~ Low: 53°F
Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Discharge reported at Altra

Saturday, August 30, 2008

CLOVERDALE -- Details were sketchy Friday evening about an accidental biosolid discharge that occurred earlier in the day at Altra Biofuels Indiana LLC, an ethanol plant located in Cloverdale.

"Basically all we know at this point is that there was a loss of biosolids," said Amber Finklestein, public information officer for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. "They were accidentally discharged."

Some of those biosolids entered Limestone Creek.

"Approximately one mile (of the creek) has been affected," Finklestein said.

Biosolids is a term used by the water treatment industry that refers to treated sludge -- the byproduct of the treatment of domestic and commercial wastewater in a wastewater treatment plant.

To create biosolids, these residuals are further treated to reduce pathogens.

Still, toxic chemicals remain in the treated sludge, as there is no technology available to remove these and tens of thousands of other chemicals from sewage sludge, the byproduct of wastewater treatment.

Late Friday afternoon, IDEM officials were at the Altra plant assessing the situation.

An anonymous phone call to the Banner Graphic Friday afternoon said Altra had already been shut down by IDEM, but Finklestein said that wasn't the case.

"The plant may shut down," she said. "What it looks like now is the wastewater treatment plant at the facility is at capacity. We have technical staff onsite, but as of now we're not sure what's going to happen. The incident is in its early stages information is really spotty right now."

Depending on their level of treatment and resultant pollutant content, biosolids can be used in regulated applications ranging from soil conditioning to fertilizer for food.

Altra Biofuels is based in Omaha, Neb. The Cloverdale facility began production on May 12.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on bannergraphic.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.


It didn't take long to have the first (?) environmental accident.

-- Posted by paying attention on Sat, Aug 30, 2008, at 6:39 AM

Our tax dollars at work! We subsidize ethanol and now we will be paying for the clean up of this mess, too.

-- Posted by not gullible on Sat, Aug 30, 2008, at 7:52 AM

um...did you read this whole article? just animal feed? "toxic chemicals remain in the treated sludge, as there is no technology available to remove these and tens of thousands of other chemicals from sewage sludge, the byproduct of wastewater treatment."

Yes, I'm sure that's why they refer to it as biosolid which translates to sewage sludge. Not something I want in any creek near my home.

The problem w/ sewage sludge in water? Dioxin.

Here's some facts from the EPA on the effects of dioxin : EPA has found dioxin to potentially cause the following health effects from acute exposures at levels above the MCL: liver damage, weight loss, atrophy of thymus gland and immunosuppression.

Drinking water levels which are considered "safe" for short-term exposures: For a 10-kg (22 lb.) child consuming 1 liter of water per day, a one-day exposure of 1x10-6 mg/L or a ten-day exposure to 1x10-7 mg/L.

Chronic: Dioxin has the potential to cause the following health effects from long-term exposures at levels above the MCL: variety of reproductive effects, from reduced fertility to birth defects.

Cancer: There is some evidence that dioxin may have the potential to cause cancer from a lifetime exposure at levels above the MCL.

Sometimes its simple common sense, economics aside.

-- Posted by Fair1 on Mon, Sep 1, 2008, at 7:01 PM

Are we going to learn what contamination has occurred? Is the Banner going to do a follow up story? When can we swim and fish for turtles again in the creek? It sure is nice to know that in 4 months the ethonal plant was not built to protect the residents of the community.

-- Posted by Hazel on Tue, Sep 2, 2008, at 5:42 AM

with all the bleach in cloverdales water it should kill the toxin

-- Posted by mal on Wed, Sep 3, 2008, at 7:56 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: