Resolution to Investigation into Nova-Kem Explosion Nears

SEWARD (WIFR) -- One year after an explosion at the Nova-Kem plant in Seward the company's owner says the attorney general's office says the company has complied with all testing following the explosion and fire.

All is quiet in and around the Nova-Kem plant in Seward. A striking difference from a year ago when thick black smoke filled the air and sirens from fire engines blared.

On June 2, 2013 an explosion and fire inside the Nova-Kem plant evacuated the village of about 200, including Tom Eickman from Eickman's Processing Company.

"Everyone went through it, everyone was safe through it, and we kind of keep moving on after that and hopefully won't have anything like that ever again," he said.

Eickman says despite a public outcry in the months following the fire the community has moved on and now Nova-Kem's CEO Reno Novak says the company is ready to do the same.

"The resolution was good. No environmental impact, no health concerns," Novak said.

Novak says he recently received a letter from the Attorney General’s Office stating the company had complied with all its requests for testing in the area. Novak expects a resolution at their next court date. After that the company can focus on rebuilding, but where that happens remains to be determined.

Eickman says while many have come to terms with what happened here a year ago some aren't ready for chemical production to return.

"You don't want to have that issue as a possibility, you know, wake up in the middle of the night and be as fortunate," Eickman said.

"Some people don't want to have a chemical plant in their backyard; some people don't want to have a pig farmer in their backyard. That's their choice. That's what’s great about our country," Novak said.

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