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City of Omaha: 'Drinking water is not impacted' by Nox-Crete fire

Missouri River
Posted at 1:48 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 15:32:05-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Tuesday afternoon, the City of Omaha released details regarding hazardous materials after the Nox-Crete fire.

Employees of the Omaha Public Works Department are monitoring wastewater and determined there has not been an overflow to the Missouri River, and any material that may have entered the water is en route to a filtration station before it is released into the Missouri River.

Outside of environmental impact, the city said there is no threat to our drinking water, as the drinking water originates from the Missouri River near Florence and from wells along the Platte River in Sarpy County and is then treated to qualify federal standards. The Metropolitan Utility District (MUD) provides the drinking water to the Omaha metro.

According to a press release from the City of Omaha, Public Works Department employees said that they have not observed anything out of the ordinary Tuesday at the City of Omaha's Missouri River Water Resource Recovery Facility.

"At this time, no unusual odors or any discoloration of the flows have been observed. This morning workers detected a visible sheen in the flow which would be indicate the presence of oil in the flow. Nothing has been observed that would potentially be harmful to human health or the environment."

Nox-Crete, the chemical manufacturing plant that experienced a destructive fire Monday night, filed a Notification of Environmental Concern report with the Nebraska Department of the Environment and Energy (NDEE). The report, filed by Fred Witte of the Omaha Fire Department, gave a slightly closer look into the chemicals that were involved in the fire.

"Mr. Witte reported that acids, bases, and solvents in large quantities were involved in the fire, but no details are available yet. The company will provide additional information when it becomes available," said the Notification of Environmental Concern report.

Chemicals that were listed in the report included mineral spirits and oil in the petroleum category, including one identified as "Naphtha," as well as acids that were listed as "not otherwise specified" in the caustic category of chemicals. No quantities were specified, though the Air Quality agency of Omaha and the Regulation and Licensure division of the Department of Health and Human Services and its Public Water Supply program have been notified.

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