Jan 23, 2020 3:26 PM

Nebraska revokes permits for troubled biogas plant

Posted Jan 23, 2020 3:26 PM

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (AP) - State regulators have revoked air and stormwater permits originally granted to a northeast Nebraska biogas plant that's been plagued with problems and odor complaints.

An official who presided over the state Environment and Energy Department case said Big Ox Energy had continually failed to comply with state regulations.

"NDEE has provided Big Ox with many opportunities to come into compliance with its permits and regulations, but Big Ox has failed to do so," hearing officer Melanie Whittamore-Mantzios wrote in her order.

The department cited Big Ox last April for failing to control emissions. The plant was taken out of operation that month for repairs and hasn't cranked up since.

Tuesday's ruling cited numerous environmental violation complaints and citations against Big Ox, which accepted organic waste from food and beverage manufacturers and converted it to methane for sale. Big Ox also received wastewater from other South Sioux City industries, pretreated it and discharged it to Sioux City, Iowa's regional wastewater plant.

The Denmark, Wisconsin-based company has 30 days to appeal the ruling. A company spokesman didn't immediately return an Associated Press message Thursday.

The plant has been under scrutiny since neighbors began complaining about odors after it opened in September 2016.

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Jan 23, 2020 3:26 PM
Authorities release names of York collision victims

YORK, Neb. (AP) - Authorities have released the names of a driver who was killed and another who was injured in collisions with a semitrailer on the south end of York.

The crash occurred a little after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at a U.S. Highway 81 intersection. Police said in a news release that a car driven by Leon Neemeyer, 77, of York, pulled onto the highway and was struck by the northbound truck. Both vehicles then went into the southbound lanes, where the truck struck a sport utility vehicle driven by Linda Jaeger, 62, also of York.

York police said Neemeyer was pronounced dead at the scene. Jaeger was taken to a hospital. Police said the truck driver, Zachary Pohlmeier, 25, of Hastings, wasn't injured.