Back in December, news broke about the biodiesel plant explosion in Marengo that led to multiple injuries.

AM 950 KOEL logo
Get our free mobile app

The explosions happened in a building owned by Heartland Crush LLC which once was a soybean processing facility. At the time of the explosion, the building was being operated by C6-Zero which converts roofing shingles into biodiesel and other products.

The explosion caused an evacuation order to be called for a two-block radius because of chemical and wind concerns.

On Wednesday, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird filed a suit against C6-Zero and its owner Howard Brand on behalf of the State of Iowa. Bird’s suit calls for C6-Zero to be compliant with an emergency order from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the state’s environmental laws to prevent any public health and environmental threats that could come from the explosion.

In a release from the Attorney General’s office;

The suit requests the court stop C6-Zero and Brand from further violations of the DNR emergency order and Iowa environmental protection laws, require they identify all chemicals located at the facility, and they allow the DNR and its representatives to enter the property to conduct all activities necessary to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

C6-Zero used various flammable chemical solvents, diesel oil, and other hazardous chemicals to process shingles into other products.

Because of the explosion, a contaminated runoff was able to enter a ditch that runs into the Iowa River, a drinking source for many communities. Currently, runoff is being held in a retention pond.

On December 15th, 2022, the DNR issued an emergency order to C6-Zero to stabilize any hazardous conditions and remove and properly dispose of solid waste on the site. The DNR’s order required that C6-Zero submit an environmental site assessment plan within 15 days, and complete the plan's requirements within 45 days.

The assessment plan was submitted after the given deadline and its completion was scheduled for March 2023. This caused the DNR to turn to the Attorney General’s office to ensure compliance.

Photos From Marengo Biofuels Plant Explosion

On Thursday, December 8th, two explosions at a Marengo biodiesel facility injured multiple people.


More From AM 950 KOEL