Big Ox Energy has agreed to work with the Environmental Protection Agency, and the State of Nebraska, to prevent future chemical releases like those that occurred at the company's Dakota City, plant in 2016.
A copy of a settlement agreement, between Big Ox and the EPA, was filed on Monday. It shows Big Ox has come into compliance with the EPA by conducting a hazard assessment, and agreed to pay a civil penalty.
On December 14, 2016 a Big Ox employee had to be hospitalized following the release of hydrogen sulfide gas in the Dakota City plant. In addition, hydrogen sulfide gas, from the Big Ox plant, infiltrated more than two-dozen homes through a sewer line they shared with the plant in October of 2016. The smell got so bad, homeowners had to move out, and move into local motels for months.
But, Big Ox officials refute the EPA's claim that the homes are a part of this settlement. Spokesperson Kevin Bradley said, in a release to KTIV, that "the settlement solely arises under the Clean Air Act planning provisions as they relate to a one-time incident last year inside the Big Ox plant that has since been settled with OSHA."
The EPA hasn't returned KTIV's calls, or e-mails, for comment about the discrepancy.
Big Ox will pay a $10,320 civil penalty. Big Ox must also donate an ambulance, a LifePak 15 Biphasic lead defibrillator, and a LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System, to the South Sioux City Fire Department to help crews respond to any future chemical accidents, or environmental emergencies.