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Fish kill near Riceville tracked to possible application of chemicals to land by ag processor

This news story was published on October 4, 2016.
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investigateRICEVILLE – DNR staff investigated the report of a fish kill on a tributary of the Wapsipinicon River on Sept. 28 about 2.5 miles south of Riceville in Howard County.

On Oct. 3, DNR field staff traced high ammonia levels in the creek to a farm field where waste from Big Ox Energy of Riceville was land applied to a crop field by Trent Linkenmeyer of Linkenmeyer Family Feeders.

Investigators found liquids from the land application flowing into the unnamed tributary. They also found live fish above the land application area and dead fish below. Big Ox Energy processes industrial food and agricultural wastes into methane, with byproducts of liquid fertilizer and solids.

The DNR is waiting on laboratory reports from water samples, but will continue the investigation and may seek penalties and fish restitution.

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17 Responses to Fish kill near Riceville tracked to possible application of chemicals to land by ag processor

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 25, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    South Sioux City, NE homeowners demand answers from city, company for foul smell

    Posted: Oct 24, 2016 10:51 PM CDT

    The foul smell that has saturated an area of South Sioux City, Nebraska, for weeks, may finally get resolved.

    Monday night, residents took their concerns to city leaders and representatives of the plant they say has caused such a big stink.

    City officials say the smell is from a system operation issue with Big Ox Energy. Big Ox is online with the South Sioux City sewer system to turn the waste into methane gas.

    During Monday night’s meeting, some homeowners called for the Big Ox plant to be shut down.

    Forced to deal with a foul odor in their homes, some people have spent more time outside of their homes than inside them. The affected sewer line runs from Red Bird Lane, and 39th Street to Lemasa Drive and 32nd Street. “We’re running people out of their homes, the plant needs to be shut down so we can get back to our homes and they can find a permanent resolution.” said Robert Baker, South Sioux City, NE.

    A representative from Big Ox, who attended the city council meeting, heard the complaints. Even they agree something has to be done. “They have some chemical ordered that they are going to put in to cover some of the smell,” Baker said. “I think they need to find a permanent solution, the city is looking to order some valves and some infrastructure products to put in the sewer. It just too bad that we had to go through all this to get to the head.”

    Despite complaints that the city, and Big Ox, took too long to respond, the city has also offered up its own insurance to residents so they can file a claim to remove the odor from clothes, carpet and draperies.

    The stench has made it hard for students in local schools, too. “Kids were coughing, sneezing, they had sinus problems, headaches, they went to the school nurse.” said Chris Cornell, South Sioux City Community Schools.

    Not all residents were pleased with the resolutions, but the city has offered to pay for hotel rooms for residents, who can’t live in their homes.

    A Big Ox spokesperson says the valves they have ordered should be in this week, and will be immediately installed. But, there’s no way to know whether the proposed solutions will make a difference in the smell.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 5, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Just seen 3 DNR trucks headed that way -and by the way my friend just told me their building a 25/30 thousand hog facility by your glorious town of Riceville.

  3. Peter L Reply Report comment

    October 5, 2016 at 9:11 am

    As long as Branstad is in office this will continue. Branstad is the reason no one is prosecuted. Get that dumb assholes out of office.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      October 5, 2016 at 10:08 am

      That dumb asshole is a successful business man, politician and farmer. You are a nothing.

      • anonymous Reply Report comment

        October 5, 2016 at 1:59 pm

        Tell us one business that Terry has run.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          October 5, 2016 at 3:14 pm

          How about his farm and the university he ran.

          • Bodacious

            October 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm

            his brother runs the farm, the university runs itself.
            Trump statement on the EPA and environment:Q: Would you cut departments?
            TRUMP: Environmental Protection, what they do is a disgrace.ÿEvery week they come out with new regulations.
            Q: Who’s going to protect the environment?
            TRUMP: We’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.

          • Anonymous

            October 5, 2016 at 3:37 pm

            They don’t do their job anyway. All they can do is come in and issue fines after the infraction. Do away with the overhead and give the extra money to the people who do the work. If they would take away the farm subsidy of anyone violation the law they would stop it fast. Fining does no good they just write it off the taxes with the tax code Clinton put in.

          • Anonymous

            October 5, 2016 at 3:38 pm

            Besides, this is a state issue. Trump is talking about Federal. A whole different issue.

          • Bodacious

            October 5, 2016 at 4:51 pm

            Good Republican Terry will follow along with the Donald. Besides, he is for less regulating and more hog processing plants. He is no friend of the environment.

          • Anonymous

            October 5, 2016 at 4:58 pm

            That has nothing to do with Trump and you know it. You are just being stubborn.

      • bodacious Reply Report comment

        October 5, 2016 at 2:02 pm

        This is one of many. And the Donald wants to do away with regulating any business because these guys will do what is right. Yeah, that’s going to happen.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          October 5, 2016 at 3:13 pm

          I have never heard Trump say anything about doing away with needed regulations. Only the bull shit ones put in by Obama.

  4. mint Reply Report comment

    October 5, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Eugenics “silent smart war”.

  5. Allen Reply Report comment

    October 5, 2016 at 7:46 am

    There should be a 100 yard buffer strip around every water source to prevent this from happening. I agree with anonymous, these chemicals are slowly killing us.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 5, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Damn farmers raping the land and steams again.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 5, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Anyone eating fish out of an Iowa river is full of the same chemicals – sooner than later you will likely encounter health problems and most likely croak before your calling.