News Release - City of South Sioux City Action Plan for Odors

For Immediate Release

October 31, 2016

Tonight, officials from South Sioux City and Big Ox Energy have jointly reached a cooperative agreement to address and resolve the odor issues that have become a real concern for a group of families and residents in our community. These are the residents who live in the area around 39th near G Street.

The City and Big Ox Energy have agreed to work together to take important action steps to address these issues. Here's what we plan to do:

First, Big Ox Energy has agreed to temporarily stop receiving wastewater from the City until the the odor issues are properly addressed and resolved. What this means is the industrial wastewater will not be diverted to the new plant and will be treated as done in the past at the Sioux City wastewater treatment facility. We anticipate this will take about 30-45 days.

The plant will remain operational and people will still notice work at the plant, but Big Ox will not be receiving the City's wastewater through the city's new system.

Secondly, Big Ox Energy will hire an outside engineering firm to develop and present to South Sioux City officials a plan to make sure that the problem does not occur again. Once the City approves the Big Ox Energy action plan, discussions will begin about redirecting the industrial wastewater stream back through the new plant. The public will be notified before this happens.

Third, Big Ox Energy will underwrite the costs of the remedial action plan and also has offered to provide additional financial support to the City for any appropriate out of pocket costs for impacted residents. This may include hotel and lodging costs for residents who have left their home, clean-up costs and any expenses associated with this issue.

Fourth, we have both agreed that while we have had some bumps along the road of this start up effort, we believe this a good project that deserves to find a way to move forward. It is our hope that these temporary action steps will result in a positive future for the City and Big Ox.  Also, the City will address a variety of sewer issues, which includes the diversion of waste and installation of valves to prevent back flow gases in the impacted area.

While this effort is underway, the City and Big Ox will reach out to the individual homeowners in the next few days to meet and talk with them to learn how we can jointly work with the residents to address any immediate needs. This might mean providing funding so that those in the impacted area can get needed medication, provide day care for pets and children as needed on an individual basis and other issues.

From the City's point of view, the health of our residents is top of mind during this time, and we are confident we have the right partners to find a resolution so we can move forward.  From Big Ox Energy's perspective, the company wants to take concrete steps to demonstrate our iron clad commitment to being a solid community citizen and doing the right thing.

We are hopeful that this joint agreement is the first step in resolving this issue to the satisfaction of all those involved.

For the City of South Sioux City, contact:

Bob Livermore

Public Works Director

402-494-7534

For Big Ox Energy, contact:

Evan Zeppos

414-491-6610

ezeppos@laughlin.com

 


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