Expert Says Big Ox's DEQ Report is Considered Normal
Dakota Dunes, SD —
Earlier this week, we received Big Ox Energy's annual form they have to fill out for the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
Big Ox Energy, back in October and November, was the company originally blamed for the smell of hydrogen sulfide leaking into South Sioux City Homes.
The document details all the different chemicals that can be found in Big Ox's waste streams.
We decided the best way to decipher these materials would be to go back to Mike Brady, a chemical engineer whom we've interviewed numerous times with regard to the smell in South Sioux.
“They actually estimate how much is coming out and have to report that to the state, as everybody does."
Brady looked over the documents, specifically this table labeled Hazardous Air Pollutant Worksheet Attachment.
For example, the chemical benzene is on this list, which according to the American Cancer Society's website is known to cause cancer if a person is exposed to a higher dose of it.
But according to Brady, this chemical is at the facility, but wouldn't get into the sewer system and is at a very low dose that wouldn't cause any harm.
"The composition of the waste stream is going to be so low, that, surprisingly, they'll be exposed to more benzene filling their gas tank, with premium gasoline, than they would any other source."
He says based on his experience working in several facilities, and visiting others, he feels Big Ox's report is simply, normal.
"By and large, their work processes is very good, they control the work process, they report it and they sample it well," said Brady.