Residents file lawsuits against South Sioux City and Big Ox Energy
Three displaced families in South Sioux City, Nebraska have filed civil lawsuits against the city of South Sioux City and Big Ox Energy.
These residents are among the dozens of who were displaced from their homes back in September/October of 2016 by foul odors and over 14 types of gases they claim backed up from the city’s sewer system and ruined their properties.
The lawsuits claim the foul odors and gases came from the Big Ox Energy plant and threatened their physical and mental health and their properties.
The lawsuits also claim that some of the homes will have to be razed and rebuilt, claiming the odors have penetrated through everything, including electric cable wires.
Court documents say that damages are totaling over $2.2 million and are accruing each day.
The residents are seeking damages for all days from the beginning of September to the date of trial.
Big Ox Energy has released a statement regarding these lawsuits:
South Sioux City, Neb. December 6, 2017--Big Ox Energy is committed to being a good corporate neighbor and employer in South Sioux City. Big Ox Energy provides affordable and sustainable disposal services for organic waste while creating jobs directly and as a local source of renewable natural gas and other valuable products.
BOE denies the allegations of lawsuits involving some South Sioux City residents targeting Big Ox Energy and South Sioux City and intends to defend itself vigorously against such claims. Big Ox Energy has proactively worked with all inter-related federal, state and local agencies and with the residents and leadership of South Sioux City to ensure that its highly-regulated operations have not and will not cause any adverse impacts to the safety or health of the local community.
Besides investing in South Sioux City through spending more than $35 million to create new sewage treatment facilities for South Sioux, Big Ox Energy has spent more than $1 million to help build a new sewer line that is isolated from residential, school and business sewer lines.
Working in partnership with all stakeholders, Big Ox Energy (BOE) proactively complies with all related standards and obligations set forth in its air and water permits. The comprehensive obligations and standards in the company’s long-standing permits were developed through an open and transparent process that carefully considered and responded to all the potential impacts to the community through the imposition of state-of-the-art controls. In addition, a lawsuit allegation that BOE concealed contents of released gases to Plaintiffs is unequivocally false. BOE’s processes have always been open to the public as part of the public permitting process.
The company saves South Sioux City and its taxpayers $900,000 annually through creating renewable biogas from treating daily 2 million gallons of wastewater and hundreds of tons of other organic waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
Each day the South Sioux City plant injects nearly 1200 dekatherms of renewable natural gas into the interstate pipeline. That number is equivalent to nearly 10,000 gallons of gasoline.
Currently the South Sioux City facility employs 35 full-time employees, and the plant plans to continue to hire more people.
In the future, Big Ox Energy in South Sioux City will develop processes for organic soils production, and will capture CO2 to be used for beverage grade products.