Home Local News BIG OX ENERGY AGREES TO PAY $1.1 MILLION DOLLAR PENALTY

BIG OX ENERGY AGREES TO PAY $1.1 MILLION DOLLAR PENALTY

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BIG OX ENERGY HAS BEEN FINED OVER A MILLION DOLLARS IN A SETTLEMENT WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND STATE OF NEBRASKA.

BIG OX ENERGY – SIOUXLAND LLC AND NLC ENERGY VENTURE 30 LLC AGREED TO PAY A $1.1 MILLION DOLLAR CIVIL PENALTY TO BE SPLIT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND NEBRASKA FOR ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF FEDERAL AND STATE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AT ITS WASTE-TO-ENERGY FACILITY IN DAKOTA CITY, NEBRASKA.

ACTING EPA REGION 7 ADMINISTRATOR EDWARD CHU SAYS THE BIG OX FACILITY’S OPERATIONS PRESENTED A SIGNIFICANT RISK TO THEIR WORKERS AND NEARBY PROPERTY OWNERS.

THE BIG OX FACILITY OPENED IN 2016 TO PROCESS MUNICIPAL AND INDUSTRIAL WASTE.

THE LIQUID WASTE WAS CONVERTED THROUGH DIGESTERS TO BIOGAS CONSISTING OF CARBON DIOXIDE, METHANE, AND HYDROGEN SULFIDE, WHICH COULD THEN CAN BE USED AS AN ENERGY SOURCE.

THE E-P-A AND NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY CONDUCTED MULTIPLE INSPECTIONS AND FOUND ON AT LEAST 16 OCCASIONS BETWEEN 2017 AND 2019, BIOMASS RELEASED FROM THE DIGESTERS WENT OVER THE SIDES OF THE FACILITY’S ROOF AND ONTO THE GROUND WHERE IT MIXED WITH STORMWATER.

IN 2018, A FACILITY MALFUNCTION RESULTED IN 80,000 GALLONS OF BIOMASS OVERFLOWING FROM THE DIGESTERS.

AIR MONITORING DETERMINED THAT THE BIG OX FACILITY WAS EMITTING METHANE AT LEVELS THAT WERE FLAMMABLE AND HYDROGEN SULFIDE IN AMOUNTS THAT COULD RESULT IN INJURY OR DEATH FROM INHALATION.

MULTIPLE SOUTH SIOUX RESIDENTS SUED THE COMPANY CLAIMING HAZARDOUS WASTE BACKED UP INTO THEIR HOMES AND MADE THEIR PROPERTIES UNLIVABLE.