Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources sues C6-Zero over Marengo plant explosion recovery

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 10:54 AM CDT
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MARENGO, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is suing a Marengo plant that exploded in December, to recover the money the state spent on the cleanup efforts.

The explosion and fire, which injured at least 10 people, happened at a C6-Zero plant, at 810 E. South Street, which processes 800 tons of asphalt shingles per day.

Crews that responded to the fire lost gear and equipment, rendered unusable by the flammable chemical solvents and diesel oil found at the plant.

The lawsuit says damage to equipment and personal protective gear totaled more than $640,000 for teams from 20 responding departments.

The state spent more than $890,000 to treat the contaminated water, to prevent it from impacting the drinking water of downstream communities.

The contaminated water had to be held in the Marengo regional detention basin to prevent it from reaching the Iowa River, which is a major drinking water source for Iowa City and the University of Iowa.

That process included excavation, dirt work and construction of diversion ditches to direct the water away from the stormwater basin while crews worked to treat the water.