Iowa Attorney General Bird files suit against C6-Zero following facility explosion

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 12:00 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa’s Attorney General is suing the business at the center of a massive workplace explosion in Marengo in December.

At least 10 people were injured on December 8th after an explosion at C6-Zero, a biofuel facility that recycles roof shingles.

Attorney General Brenna Bird filed the suit on Wednesday, demanding the company comply with an emergency order from Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources and Iowa laws to prevent the “imminent threat to public health and the environment,” including allowing the DNR access to the site.

The Attorney General’s Office said chemicals are still exposed to the elements and water quality on the site is above hazardous levels.

The contaminated runoff is temporarily being held in a retention pond in Marengo.

After the explosion, the Iowa DNR tested to ensure contaminated water from the explosion didn’t make it into the Iowa River, which is a significant source of drinking water for Iowa City and other nearby municipalities.

In a press release, Bird said chemicals used at the facility remain on site in buckets, barrels and gas tanks, along with large piles of loose, crushed shingles, and are exposed to wind, rain and changing temperatures.

“Iowans expect responsible businesses to take reasonable steps to comply with their duties to remediate hazardous conditions after an incident like this,” Bird said.

The KCRG-TV9 i9 Investigative Team received documents showing regulators in two different states found the company’s founder, Howard Brand, violated state laws around solid waste regulations.