dchas + industrial   5594

Roads reopen following propane leak in Utica
Utica, N.Y. — Roads in west Utica have reopened following a propane leak that was detected Wednesday night.

Around 9 p.m. Utica fire crews found a 3,000 gallon propane tank leaking, with a large cloud of gas in the air near Stark St. and McVean St.

Oneida County 911 dispatchers say the leak happened near Bick and Heinz Incorporated.

In response, crews evacuated 20 homes
us_NY  industrial  release  response  propane 
4 hours ago by dchas
Jersey City scrap yard fire blows black smoke for miles
JERSEY CITY — A fire at a scrap metal yard sent thick black smoke into the air on Thursday afternoon.

Both ground and marine units, including from the New York Fire Department, responded to Sims Metal Management on Linden Avenue East in an industrial section south of the Greenville section. The fire erupted about 4:30 p.m., according ABC 7 Eyewitness News.


The fire is also filling the air with a chemical smell, according to Hoboken police Chief Ken Ferrante. The New York City Office of Emergency Management also issued a warning about the smell.

The yard is located along the New Jersey Turnpike's Hudson Bay Extension, causing some rubbernecking delays. Winds from the southeast are blowing the thick black smoke toward the Meadowlands, according to New Jersey 101.5 Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.
us_NJ  industrial  fire  response  metals  waste 
4 hours ago by dchas
Crews Battle Building Fire With Chemical Tanks, Explosions
A large number of departments battled a building fire with explosions that resulted in a Hazmat situation Thursday afternoon.

The Green Oak Township fire Department was dispatched shortly after 4pm to Superior Sanitation on Rushton Road, north of Silver Lake Road on a report of a building fire that was exploding. Fire Chief Kevin Gentry tells WHMI crews found a 100 x 100 pole barn full of various hydraulic fluids, oxyacetylene tanks that are used for welding and other chemicals in storage tanks, many of which exploded as they were arriving on scene. Multiple fire departments responded and extinguished the fire. Gentry says The Livingston County Hazmat Team was called because the facility is just uphill from the Huron River so they had to block off the area to absorb all of the water to prevent it from entering the Huron River with various chemicals. Green Oak Township was assisted on scene by the Brighton, South Lyon, Hamburg, Northfield and Lyon Township Fire Departments. Gentry says the large number of fire departments and tanker trucks had to be called in because it required a large amount of water in an area where there were no fire hydrants. The Hazmat Team had to place absorbent pads and boons to prevent the water run-off from going into the river. Gentry noted that from the time of the initial call to the time the first units arrived on scene, there were many different explosions with various welding tanks and other tanks blowing up.

Gentry says initial investigation suggests that there was likely a malfunction during a welding event that appears to have started the fire. There were no injuries reported and the building was un-occupied when the fire started. However, Gentry says the workers had been using a cutting torch just shortly before the fire began. Rushton Road north of Silver Lake Road was shut down to allow tankers to turn around and deliver water. After the fire was extinguished, Gentry says crews remained on scene cooling various hydraulic tanks that did not blow up but were in temperatures in the range of 400 to 500 degrees when they arrived. (JM)
us_MI  industrial  fire  response  various_chemicals 
4 hours ago by dchas
Aerosol Chemical Plant Fined Over Flammable Liquid Dangers
A Georgia manufacturer of aerosol chemicals faces federal citations for allegedly failing to protect workers from hazards involving flammable liquids and combustible dust.

PLZ Aeroscience, which operates as Plaze Georgia, was cited and fined a proposed $107,164 for alleged safety violations at its Dalton, Ga., facility, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said April 25.

OSHA cited the company for two repeat violations for allegedly not ensuring workers wear flame-retardant clothing and not providing adequate safety training to workers...
us_GA  industrial  discovery  environmental  flammables 
4 hours ago by dchas
AFD: Chlorine leak at Plains Dairy contained following HAZMAT situation
Amarillo Fire crews are working a HazMat Chlorine leak at Plains Dairy.

The City of Amarillo says The Amarillo Area Office of Emergency Management has initiated a full EOC activation for the HAZMAT incident.

Amarillo Fire Department spokesman Captain Kyle Joy says the department responded to a possible chlorine leak at Plains Dairy at about 9:13 a.m. and crews arrived on the scene three minutes later.

The HAZMAT team detected levels of chlorine gas and got the workers out of the building. Three people have been transported to the hospital and four more are expected to be transported with minor inhalation injuries.
us_TX  industrial  release  injury  chlorine 
yesterday by dchas
Beware of the thermal runaway danger posed by lithium batteries
Recently, eight Arizona firefighters were injured – three seriously and one critically – when an explosion occurred while they were inspecting a “utility size” lithium battery.

Both the Peoria (Arizona) Fire-Medical Department and the Surprise Fire Department had responded to a report of smoke coming from the APS McMicken Energy Storage facility in Peoria. The explosion apparently occurred as the Peoria Hazmat Team began to enter the building. The explosion knocked the critically injured firefighter unconscious and required three of the firefighters to be airlifted to a burn unit in Phoenix, while the others were transported to a local hospital.

This incident points to the potential hazards of both energy storage systems and the dangers associated with lithium storage batteries.
us_AZ  industrial  follow-up  environmental  batteries 
yesterday by dchas
Residents seek answers about chemical fire at town hall
More than 100 residents attended a lengthy town hall meeting Wednesday where attendees demanded answers about what the Intercontinental Terminals Company chemical plant fire would mean for their health and communities.

The meeting at Milby High School, about 13 miles from the site of the extinguished fire on Independence Parkway, stretched on for more than two hours. Residents, at times, became emotional.

"I've had a sore throat since this thing happened," Mary Lou Gonzalez said.

"To see and hear our city go through this because companies don't want to spend the money to warn people or to help us, what can we do as people?" she asked. "Something has to be done."

The town hall, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, included representatives from local, state and federal agencies investigating the massive blaze that started on March 17 and continued for three days.

"We're making sure that agencies involved really do the work here on the ground to make sure we can hold those responsible, responsible," Garcia said, "because it had a great impact to our community and there are still a lot of remaining concerns."
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
yesterday by dchas
Chemical Plant Explosion in China Kills 4, Injures 35
An explosion and fire at a chemical plant in northern China Wednesday morning left four people dead and 35 others with injuries, Chinese state media reported. People living near the plant were ordered to evacuate. 

The explosion was reported in a workshop at the Dongxing Chemical Co. Ltd. in Ulanqab, a city in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, at about 2:55 a.m., according to coverage by Xinhua. Firefighters responded to the site and isolated the flames to a tank located near the blast site. 

Established in 1987, Dongxing Chemical produces a wide range of products, including inorganic pigments, powder polymers, and cellulose ethers, the company’s LinkedIn page said.

Officials told Xinhua that an investigation into the incident has started and that the city’s ecology and environment department is carrying out air and water quality monitoring. 

In March this year, an explosion at a pesticide plant killed 64 people and injured dozens. A few weeks later, another blast at a scrap metal processing plant resulted in 7 deaths. 
China  industrial  explosion  death  pesticides 
yesterday by dchas
Chemical Safety Board calls on EPA to review Hydrofluoric Acid study
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The US Chemical Safety Board is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to review its nearly 26-year-old Hydrofluoric Acid study in the wake of last year’s Husky Refinery fire.

HF is a highly toxic chemical that can seriously injury or cause death and is used in about 50 of the U.S.’s approximately 150 refineries.

The chemical is used catalyst in the creation of a blending agent for high octane gas.

In a letter just this week, the CSB asked the EPA to start a review and update the agency’s 1993 study to determine whether refineries’ “existing risk management plans are sufficient to prevent catastrophic releases and to determine whether there are commercially viable, inherently safer technologies for use.”

“In the last 4 years, the CSB has investigated two refinery incidents where an explosion elevated the threat of a release of HF, said CSB Interim Executive Kristen Kulinowski. “Refinery workers and surrounding community residents are rightly concerned about the adequacy of the risk management for the use of hazardous chemicals like HF.

In addition to the Husky fire, the CSB investigated an explosion at the former ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, California in 2015.

In both of its investigations, the CSB conducted a public hearing to all communities a chance to express their concerns about HF.
industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrofluoric_acid 
yesterday by dchas
What We Know and Don't Know About the Fire at an APS Battery Facility
No cause has been named for the fire at an Arizona battery facility that sent four firefighters to the hospital Friday.

Peoria Fire Department spokesperson Michael Selmer described "an explosion" when the responders tried to check on the battery enclosure, raising questions about whether the batteries or some other equipment triggered that event. Lithium-ion batteries have been involved in fires before, but only a handful of times in the U.S. grid infrastructure context.

Utility Arizona Public Service, which owns the site, and Fluence, which provided the battery system, have been investigating the cause of the conflagration since Saturday. 

Four members of the Peoria Fire Department were hospitalized with chemical and chemical-inhalation burns, according to the department. The responders' conditions had stabilized by Saturday evening, local outlet AZ Central reported.

This calamity comes at a sensitive time for the fledgling storage industry, which is poised to double deployments this year and triple them in 2020, according to data from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.
us_AZ  industrial  follow-up  injury  batteries 
2 days ago by dchas
Blast at Inner Mongolia chemical plant kills 3
SHANGHAI/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Three people were killed in an explosion at a privately owned chemical plant in China’s Inner Mongolia region, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.

The blast happened in the early hours of the morning at Inner Mongolia Dongxing Chemicals, a company that produces a range of products from sodium hydroxide to PVC, a lightweight plastic.

The accident follows two deadly blasts in eastern Jiangsu province in March that killed 85 people, leading to increased scrutiny on how China monitors its sprawling chemicals industry.

Market regulators said earlier this month they would launch a nationwide inspection into the safety of industrial products like food packaging and hazardous chemicals in an effort to allay public concerns.
China  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago by dchas
Chemical Crews Detect Vapor Emission At BG Army Depot
RICHMOND, Ky. – Chemical crews detected a vapor emission in a storage structure that contained sarin rockets during a routine inspection Tuesday.

A mobile monitoring laboratory detected the vapor during routine analysis of the atmosphere within the structure, known as an “igloo.” As a safety precaution, a powered filter was connected to the igloo to ensure the vapor does not enter the outside atmosphere.

Detecting, isolating, and mitigating vapor emissions are a normal part of the safe and secure chemical storage operations at Blue Grass Chemical Activity.

There is no danger or risk to Madison County citizens or surrounding counties. The Madison County Emergency Management Agency and the Commonwealth of Kentucky EMA were notified of the vapor emission.
us_KY  industrial  release  response  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago by dchas
Hazmat training offered to help in Camp Fire recovery
BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - There is still a lot to be done in the Camp Fire recovery process, so contractors need workers now more than ever.

That's why many are enrolling in a special "HAZWOPER" course.

"This is day one of the classes," I ask, "Are you nervous?"

"It scares the heck out of me but I'm writing down notes and I have a lot of family support plus I want to motivate my grandkids to get into good positions," said Rick, a Camp Fire Survivor who is soon to be a hazardous waste worker.

"We're working hard to help everybody rebuild, it's an important process for this whole area," said Rick.

Hazmat trainer Derek Dawson trains debris removal workers through Butte College as part of a special "Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response" program, or "HAZWOPER".
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
3 days ago by dchas
Boston fire crews responding Level 3 hazmat situation on Deer Island – Boston News, Weather, Sports
BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston fire crews are responding to a reported Level 3 hazmat situation on Deer Island.

The incident on Taft Avenue involved an over-pressurized 55-gallon drum that was filled with hazardous waste products.

No additional information was immediately available.
us_MA  industrial  discovery  response  waste 
6 days ago by dchas
Arizona firefighters rushed to hospitals after explosion at battery facility
Eight firefighters, from two separate agencies, were hospitalized Friday after an explosion at an Arizona Public Service facility in Surprise, where utility-sized lithium batteries used in the storage and distribution of solar energy are housed.

Four firefighters from the Peoria Fire-Medical Department were seriously injured. One firefighter was in critical condition after being knocked unconscious. Two others were in serious condition, Capt. Ken Wier told FOX 10 of Phoenix.

Three of the most seriously hurt firefighters were airlifted to Maricopa County Medical Center's burn unit in Phoenix while the fourth was transported to a West Valley hospital, Michael Selmer, a spokesman for the department, told AZCentral.com.

Four additional firefighters from the city of Surprise were taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Battalion Chief Julie Moore of the Surprise Fire Department told AZCentral.

Fire teams from Peoria and Surprise both responded to APS McMicken Energy Storage facility around 6 p.m. after someone passing by spotted spoke, Moore said. Firefighters began inspecting a utility-size lithium battery for hazardous chemical levels. An explosion occurred as a Peoria Fire hazmat team attempted to enter the facility.
us_AZ  industrial  explosion  injury  batteries 
6 days ago by dchas
Lonza plagued by supply problems after China plant explosion
An explosion at a chemical plant in China that killed 62 people not only exposed weaknesses in China’s safety oversight but it also exposed weaknesses in the global ingredient supply chain. The disruption from the blast has exacerbated shortages for Swiss pharma and chemical supplier Lonza.

In a “qualitative look” at its first-quarter results, which included almost no financial figures, Lonza’s new CEO Marc Funk said the company’s CDMO business is rolling along nicely, powered by biologics projects. The disruption from explosion in China, however, contributed to “headwinds” for the company’s specialty ingredient business.

Funk said all of its ingredient businesses face “raw material shortages and supply-chain disruptions” from China’s efforts to clean up chemical pollution in the country as well as by “a major chemical plant explosion in China.” He said the company is taking additional “cost containment” steps to overcome those headwinds.
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
7 days ago by dchas
At least 21 hospitalized after chemical leak at Nira plant
PUNE: At least 21 workers were hospitalized, one with severe burn injuries, after a chemical leak from a tank inside a plant at Nira-Nimbut in Purandar taluka on Wednesday, police said.
Local villagers, however, claimed there was an explosion at the plant and pegged the number of affected workers at more than 40. They said three workers were critical. The affected workers have been admitted to different private hospitals in Nira and Lonand.

“Around 4.30pm, the chemical overflowed from the tank. As per our information, 21 people were initially admitted to hospital. One of them, with severe burn injuries, is in a serious condition,” Pune rural superintendent of police Sandip Patil said. The plant authorities immediately shut the valve and contained the leak, police said.
Nira village has a population of 20,000, some of whom work at the plant. After the incident, word quickly spread with differing reports of the severity.
The affected workers complained of breathing difficulty, burning sensation in the eyes, nausea and dizziness, villagers said. “Around 4.30pm, a tank was overfilled with acetic anhydride, which caused a pressure build-up inside, leading to the explosion. Around 35-40 workers were rushed to the hospital,” said Vaibhav Konde, a resident of the village.
India  industrial  release  injury  acetic_anhydride 
8 days ago by dchas
Six years later: Learning from the West fertilizer plant explosion
WEST, Texas (KXAN) — Thirty minutes before sunrise on a chilly April morning, a bright yellow glow shines out of the windows of the red garage doors that line the front of fire station #2 in Georgetown. All is calm and quiet outside except for the birds singing up a storm.

They're not the only ones up and at 'em so early on a Monday. Several guys emerge from the garage and head to their cars. One crew is coming off a 24-hour shift as a fresh team of firefighters clock-in and start getting the trucks and ambulances ready for the unknown of what the day will bring.

Dylan Karl has a sticker commemorating those who died in the West explosion on his helmet (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)
Dylan Karl, 26, hangs his yellow fire suit up in his locker and sets his black helmet on top. You can see a white sticker on the side of it with black letters that read "For those that perished." Above the four words is the West Fire Department badge covered by a black strip that bears the date 4-17-13. That's the day 15 people were killed in an explosion in the small town north of Waco. Eleven of them were West volunteer firefighters.
The Georgetown firefighter and paramedic remembers pieces of that horrific day like it was yesterday. It was the biggest call of his life — one most first responders will never experience over a lifelong career. The second generation firefighter was ready. 
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
9 days ago by dchas
Husky Energy Discusses Rebuild Efforts at Open House, Residents Voice Concerns
Next Friday will mark a year since fires and an explosion tore through Superior's Husky Refinery. Tuesday night, Twin Ports residents had the chance to learn more about how the company plans to move forward, and also voiced lingering concerns.

Jo Haberman, recalled the incident a year ago.

"Part of my neighborhood, which is Park Point was evacuated. It was close to my apartment and too close for comfort so my granddaughter and I evacuated Duluth and Superior," said Haberman. "She was so terrified, and I was also terrified."

She says lingering concerns for safety brought them out to Husky's open house, as the company presented their rebuilding plans.  

"It's absolutely clear to me that Husky needs to replace Hydrogen Fluoride. They can afford to replace it. It's a public safety issue," said Haberman.

"I'm concerned about the water. I'm concerned about our proximity," said Christina Schleicher, a Twin Ports resident. " If something where to happen what is in place for that."

Monday night, Husky's General Manager said they stand by their decision to continue using the chemical.

"When you look at the gasoline as a product that the refinery really likes to provide for Superior itself, the HF alkylation unit is a vital component of that motor gasoline, so right now we are intending to maintain that operation," said Kollin Schade.

However, he says there will be additional safety measures. Informational booths were set up for that and other improvements they are making.

"We're a learning refinery. We know there are things we can improve on both safety and environmental, and we're going to support those during the rebuild process," Schade added.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrofluoric_acid 
9 days ago by dchas
Liquid Nitrogen Leak Creates Haze, Shuts Down Part of W. 12 St.
A haze shut down part of W. 12 St. in the City of Erie Monday night.

Emergency crews were called just after 8 p.m. and learned a liquid nitrogen tank ruptured in Modern Industries.

They shut down 12th St. from Cherry to Liberty St. because the haze is causing visibility problems for drivers.

HAZMAT is on standby right now while crew members work to stop the leak, according to Jeff Carroll, deputy chief for the Erie Fire Department.

A tanker truck may need to be called to the scene if the leak cannot be stopped, Carroll told Erie News Now.

Depending on how long it takes to stop the leak, it could be a while before road is reopened, Carroll said.

In the meantime, he said the gas is not harmful or poisonous to the body and does not pose a fire risk.
industrial  release  response  liquid_nitrogen 
10 days ago by dchas
10 killed in fire at pharmaceutical plant in China
A fire tore through a pharmaceutical company in China's Shandong province on Monday, suffocating to death at least 10 persons and injuring 12 others, the fourth major industrial accident in the country since last month.

The incident occurred Monday afternoon in the basement of Qilu Tianhe Pharmaceutical when welding sparks ignited a heat-transferring substance, generating smoke, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Eight persons who were working on a pipeline renovation project suffocated to death on the spot, and two others died despite emergency medical treatment.

Twelve rescuers also sustained minor smoke inhalation injuries, which were not life-threatening, the report said.
China  industrial  fire  death  pharmaceutical 
10 days ago by dchas
Gov't moves to cut chemical plant risks
Special expert to be assigned, factories to be moved away from residential areas

Authorities said special experts will be designated to help govern the hazardous chemical industry in key areas, while ramping up efforts to move plants out of densely populated areas.

The move comes as an investigation into a deadly explosion at a chemical plant in Jiangsu province continues.

Counties listed as key ones for concentrations of chemical factories will be assigned at least two experts as special consultants to offer technical support to local authorities' supervision work, according to a guideline from the State Council's Work Safety Committee.

The document, published on Monday by the Ministry of Emergency Management, said the experts will be chosen based on each of the counties' needs and in light of possible differences in their major types of chemical plants.

It said the experts will also contribute to emergency rescue and safety training work. While assisting enterprises in their construction of safety infrastructure, they are also expected to help enhance grassroots law enforcement capabilities.
China  industrial  explosion  environmental 
10 days ago by dchas
No injuries in warehouse fire at Millipore Sigma in Sheboygan County
SHEBOYGAN COUNTY — Multiple departments were called out to a warehouse fire at Millipore Sigma near County Highway V and County Highway A in the Town of Wilson in Sheboygan County Sunday, April 14.

It happened just after 1 p.m.

The Town of Wilson fire chief said the fire broke out in a storage facility for production chemicals at the plant. It was under control within 30 minutes of the arrival of fire crews.

There were no reported injuries. Damage was very minimal.

The cause was under investigation, but the fire chief noted there was a single point of origin, and said a “combustible solid” was on fire.
us_WI  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago by dchas
Three industrial workers injured in Taunton chemical explosion
TAUNTON, Mass. —
Three industrial workers were injured in a chemical explosion at a plant in the Myles Standish Industrial Park in Taunton, according to the Taunton Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to IQE, located at 200 John Hancock Road, at 12:25 a.m. for a reported explosion inside the plant.

Upon arrival, firefighters found three employees suffering from flash burns on their faces and hands. Firefighters were notified that the explosion could have possibly released hazardous materials into the air.

Firefighters requested a Tier 2 hazardous materials response, which brought in resources, personnel and equipment from around the region.

Officials at the scene determined the explosion involved compressed hydrogen and arsine. The hazmat crew determined that the danger was confined to a piece of equipment used in manufacturing and no materials were released into the environment.

The equipment was undergoing maintenance at the time of the explosion, according to the Taunton Fire Department.
us_MA  industrial  explosion  injury  hydrogen  arsine 
11 days ago by dchas
17 more detained over China blast that killed 78
Police have detained 17 more suspects connected to a chemical blast in eastern China last month which killed 78 and left hundreds injured, local authorities said Monday.

The explosion in eastern Jiangsu province was one of the worst industrial accidents in the country in recent years and led to the closure of the plant.

Police have taken "criminal coercive measures" against the 17 suspects, said the Yancheng city government on its official Twitter-like Weibo account, bringing the number people rounded up over the blast to 26.

The latest group includes individuals from an unnamed third-party organisation, who are accused of falsifying project evaluations, and Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical company, whose plant was involved in the blast.

The March 21 explosion razed an industrial park and blew out the windows of surrounding homes.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical  illegal 
11 days ago by dchas
Operators Exposed to Halon in Reactor Control Room
The Advanced Test Reactor was manually shut down due to a fire in a relay cabinet. Reactor control room staff unsuccessfully attempted to put out the fire by de-energizing the cabinet and using a dry chemical fire extinguisher. Control room staff then scrammed the reactor and manually activated the Halon fire suppression system. Reactor control room staff remained in the control room during and following actuation of the Halon fire suppression system to ensure the safe shutdown condition of the reactor.
Download Article
industrial  fire  response  halon 
11 days ago by dchas
The Latest: State sues over Texas plant fire
The state of Texas has filed a court petition seeking action against a company whose plant caught fire near Houston.
1 employee was killed and 2 were injured badly in the fire in the KMCO chemical plant at Crosby.
The Texas Attorney General’s office filed the request on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in state district court in Austin.
Harris County had acquired an injunction against KMCO in 2009 that required the firm to pay $100,000 in civil penalties and also give researchers easy access to this plant and instantaneous notification of releases.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death 
12 days ago by dchas
Firefighters call for health and safety reform over toxic chemical exposure
When Kevin "Blackie" Black used fire foams back in the 1970s, he never suspected it could affect his health.

Back then, aqueous film forming foam - or AFFF as the firefighters called it - was considered the best way to extinguish an aeroplane fire because it coated the fuel and smothered the flames. Now, the foam is recognised as a toxic substance, contaminating airports, land and waterways across the country, and fire crew are banned from using it.

Nearly 50 years since Blackie took a job with the firefighting crew at Base Woodbourne near Blenheim, he is starting to wonder whether the foam's poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have accumulated in his body.

"Ignorance is bliss. I have to say, I've been trying not to think about it. If you dwell on something like that, it's not good." 
New_Zealand  industrial  discovery  environmental 
12 days ago by dchas
The Chemical Engineer
THE previous three articles in this series focussed on understanding and maintaining the basis of safety for our processes – identifying what could go wrong, establishing measures to prevent or mitigate hazardous events, and maintaining those measures through operational discipline. However, even organisations with strong operational discipline can drift unknowingly into a major process incident. It is important to understand how this can happen in order to try and prevent it.

Imagine that...
Can you imagine a major hazards chemical plant, processing large quantities of toxic chemicals and flammable hydrocarbons, where operators are told to shut down the plant if the wind speed rises above 20 mph? It sounds strange, but I experienced such a situation. How could that have happened? The plant – originally built in in the 1970s – was supported in an open steel structure.

Several months before I visited, management had started a programme of re-painting the structure. But preparatory work revealed significant metal loss under the existing paint. Management was concerned but wanted to continue the work without shutting down the plant and removing the inventory. As preparation work continued, more metal loss was revealed, generating more concern. Studies were commissioned with structural engineering consultants, seeking assurance that there was minimal risk of structural failure; these were regularly reviewed, and up-dated as further metal loss was uncovered, until it was shown that the structure could possibly be de-stabilised by strong winds. This led to the introduction of supporting scaffolding in parts of the structure and the decision to stop production in the event of high wind. The re-painting programme was eventually completed, with a few production interruptions, but fortunately without a structural failure event.
industrial  discovery  environmental 
13 days ago by dchas
Delving into Cultural Factors Can Improve Safety
Oil and gas organizations have significantly improved safety over the years, and evaluating a company’s safety culture can identify areas for further gains. But culture is hard to measure and even more difficult to change.

Over the past 10 years, ABS Group has conducted HSE/process safety culture evaluations involving more than 80 offshore assets in the Middle East, North Sea, North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. After a decade of evaluating data insights into the leading cultural factors that contributed to major offshore incidents, ABS Group formulated a next-generation root cause analysis (RCA) methodology and risk management tool called Cultural Cause Analysis (CCA). CCA supports organizations in knowing which changes in cultural factors have the largest positive impact to prevent future losses.

ABS Group believes CCA will allow organizations to create lasting changes that promote sustainable, outstanding performance in safety leadership. ABS Group’s new approach leverages 40 years of incident investigation, RCA and process safety management (PSM) expertise.
Mexico  industrial  discovery  environmental  petroleum 
13 days ago by dchas
Fire forces evacuations at Tualatin warehouse
A Tualatin warehouse was evacuated Thursday evening as hazmat crews assessed the scene of a commercial fire.
There were no known injuries at the warehouse on Southwest 115th Avenue.
Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue says it thinks lithium batteries may have started the fire.
Firefighters said someone from inside the business told them a new product test on six large lithium-ion batteries was being conducted and the batteries were on fire.
They say sprinklers knocked down most of it before they got there.
us_OR  industrial  fire  response  batteries 
14 days ago by dchas
Keaau Gas Cloud Scare Explained By Fire Department
(BIVN) – A dangerous, floating cloud of gas resulted in the temporary closure of Shipman Industrial Park in Keaʻau today, and forced companies operating in the area to shelter in place.

No one was injured by the cloud of propane gas, which was created when a valve was reportedly torn off a Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or LPG, container, fire officials say.

The fire department responded to Kipimana Street, between Melekahiwa Place and Kalapa Place, just after 11 a.m., and found a “large vapor cloud” in area moving with light winds. Traffic was stopped to Shipman Industrial Area, and the source was identified as “a torn off fill valve located at the bottom of a 20’ LPG shipping container (24 sq meter/ ~6,300 gallons),” a fire dispatch stated.

The liquid LPG “formed a large ice flow of LPG under the container, which released a large cloud of visible Propane gas,” the fire department said.

The cloud propane cloud, which the fire department says can be highly flammable and is heavier than air, moved over the surrounding area in the variable winds and raining conditions. “Neighboring properties were instructed to shelter in place and extinguish any outside flame/industrial sources, vehicles included,” the dispatch said.
us_HI  industrial  release  response  propane 
14 days ago by dchas
Lawsuit: Hundreds of urine samples contaminated in transit following ITC fire
DEER PARK, Texas — Two Deer Park residents have filed a lawsuit against a third-party testing company claiming they contaminated urine samples after mishandling them during transit.

According to a court affidavit, Bruce and Rita Gale sought medical treatment at Community Health First Emergency Center on March 29 after “suffering symptoms consistent with chemical inhalation following the ITC industrial fire.”

During the fire at Intercontinental Terminal Co.’s Deer Park facility, area residents were ordered to shelter-in-place after action-levels of Benzene were detected by air quality monitors.

The plaintiffs said they submitted urine samples to be sent to a third-party testing facility to be tested for levels of Benzene exposure.

Their suit alleges they were told approximately 80 percent of the 500 urine samples couldn’t be tested due to contamination “yielded from LABCORPS mishandling of the samples during transit.”
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  benzene 
14 days ago by dchas
After Deadly Explosion In China, Raw Materials Are Even More Challenging
The past few years have been extremely challenging in terms of supply of key raw materials for inks and their ingredients. Suppliers in China have been closed temporarily or permanently due to tightening environmental regulations. In 2018, the shuttering of a key intermediate for photoinitiators creates a shortage of TPO and TPO-L, leaving ink companies scrambling to find materials for UV inks and coatings, often having to pay much higher prices for what they could find. As a result, many leading ink manufacturers have looked to diversify their supplier base.
The tragic explosion at Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical in China in March serves as a reminder of the need for tight regulation in China as well as concerns over doing business in the country.
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental  paints 
14 days ago by dchas
Brazil shelves chemicals bill ‘until further notice’
Brazil’s environment minister has shelved the country’s draft chemicals bill, according to a government source.

The bill, which has been sitting with the Civil House since January, was awaiting review by the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro.

However, Mr Bolsonaro, who took office on 1 January, has sent the bill back to his environment Minister Ricardo Salles (pictured), who has shelved it without review, the source says.

All scheduled meetings of the working groups tasked with reviewing and shaping the draft bill for final approval have been cancelled "until further notice". Some Brazilian industry sources say that they have been dropped for the rest of the year.

OECD accession

The source says this "demonstrates that there is no intention to send the proposal back to the presidency, despite being informed about its importance under the OECD membership process".

In 2017, Brazil applied to become a full OECD member country. It has not yet been invited to start the process of accession but if it is, the country will have to show its ability and willingness to implement the OECD council acts related to chemical safety.
Brazil  industrial  discovery  environmental 
14 days ago by dchas
China's chemical industry set for massive changes
China's chemical industry could see major relocations and closures of plants and industrial parks this year amid a nationwide safety crackdown following a couple of deadly factory blasts in East China. 

Experts said that the industry is shifting to a greener, more efficient model, with a focus on developing high added-value materials.

Initial assessments by regulators have revealed that about 30 percent of the country's 676 chemical industry parks have no safety regulation platforms, the Economic Information Daily reported, citing an unidentified official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Two-thirds of the industrial parks lacked proper facilities to handle hazardous waste, and nearly 9 percent of industrial parks lacked proper sewage treatment facilities, according to the report.

The MIIT is reportedly working with other government agencies to set up standards to evaluate chemical industrial parks and conduct a thorough assessment of safety risks, which could result in relocations and even closures.

The chemical sector has been under close regulatory scrutiny after a pair of deadly explosions at chemical plants in East China's Jiangsu Province killed a total of 85 people and injured dozens more in March.
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
14 days ago by dchas
Hyderabad: Four injured in an explosion at scrap yard in Shastripuram
Hyderabad: Four persons, including an Inspector of Police and a corporator were injured in an explosion at a scrap yard in Shastripuram, Mailardevpally here on Wednesday.

According to the Mailardevpally police, the scrap yard owners had brought some material for recycling purpose to the scrap yard and plastic waste recycling unit located in Shastripuram. The material was brought on Monday.

On Tuesday evening, there was an explosion following which one person identified as Afroz sustained injuries and was shifted to Osmania General Hospital for treatment.

Following the chemical explosion, on Wednesday morning, the local Inspector K Sattaiah Goud along with local corporator Mohd Misbahuddin went to the place and were inspecting the premises when suddenly another explosion happened.
India  industrial  explosion  injury  waste 
15 days ago by dchas
‘Nothing ever changes’: Life after one of China’s deadliest chemical disasters
deadly factory explosion in 2007 didn’t kill Ren Guanying. Nor did the chlorine gas leak that sparked mass panic in 2010.

When countless smaller industrial accidents struck Xiangshui County, a smog-choked belt of Jiangsu province in China, over the years, they spared her, too.

The 58-year-old factory worker’s luck ran out on 21 March. An explosion at Tianjiayi Chemical Co ripped through an industrial zone and the surrounding countryside, killing at least 78 people and injuring more than 600.

Ren’s body was found on a country road not far from a 300-foot-wide crater, says her daughter, Ma Li.

“We used to always worry whenever we heard a blast, until we got numb to it,” Ma says in her shattered home about half a mile from the chemical plants. “This place was like a time bomb. This time, it finally got my mom.”

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Explosion kills seven people at metal-moulding plant in China
To the residents of Xiangshui County, about 200 miles north of Shanghai, the Tianjiayi explosion wasn’t so much an accident as an inevitability.

Over the past two decades, local officials have transformed this once-overlooked coastal expanse of wheat and rice farms into one of China’s major chemical-production centres, tripling the region’s economic output in the process.
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
15 days ago by dchas
Texas chemical plant employee charged in explosion in aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
DALLAS — Another senior employee at a chemical company is facing criminal charges connected to a 2017 explosion at a Houston-area plant following Hurricane Harvey.

Michael Keough, vice president of logistics for Arkema Inc.'s North American subsidiary, was indicted on felony assault charges tied to his actions ahead of a chemical fire and explosion at the company's Crosby facility, the Harris County District Attorney's office announced Wednesday. The company was also charged.

Keough falsely told officials that Arkema was monitoring potentially explosive chemical tanks in real time when the company had insufficient data to give early warning, according to District Attorney Kim Ogg. These "misrepresentations" led two sheriff's deputies to drive directly into a toxic cloud, which then spread to exposing others, she said.

An attorney for Keough, Dan Cogdell, called the indictment "absurd" and "beyond rational thought."
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  illegal 
15 days ago by dchas
Investigators to enter ITC tank farm for first time since...
PASADENA, Texas - It has been over a month since a massive fire broke out at the Intercontinental Terminals Co. in Deer Park.

After burning for multiple days and two flare-ups, crews were able to put the blaze out and begin the cleanup process.

n the following days, a benzene detection forced a shelter-in-place order for the area, nearby waters were polluted with oily residue from runoff and residents in Channelview even saw some flyaway foam landing in their yards. 

ITC was also hit with multiple lawsuits over the fire, including lawsuits filed by the Texas attorney general and Harris County.

According to the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office, investigators are expected to enter the tank farm Tuesday for the first time since the blaze erupted.

"Investigators will conduct an initial scene examination," said Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen. "Investigators will make entry into the tank farm with the appropriate level of personal protective equipment (PPE), which will include hazmat suits and air purifying respirators." 
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  petroleum 
16 days ago by dchas
Urgency rises for tackling hazardous waste
The deadly blast at a chemical plant in Jiangsu province last month that left 78 dead clearly highlights the urgent need to properly handle hazardous waste management in the country.

As central authorities tighten management by revising laws and issuing detailed policies to support hazardous waste treatment, experts are calling for mandating that facilities to process such waste be built in all chemical industry parks nationwide.

The explosion occurred on March 21 in Xiangshui county, Yancheng, at a Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co Ltd plant. The accident also injured more than 600.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, set up an investigation group and the probe into the cause of the blast is ongoing.

Multiple sources have suggested that the casual handling of hazardous chemical waste produced by the company could be a cause of the deadly blast.

China Chemical Industry News reported that the blast originated at the company's hazardous waste storage facility, citing a source close to the investigation group.

Beijing News also reported that the facility caught fire before the explosion. The facility is adjacent to a natural gas station, the explosion of which caused the tragedy, the report said.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  waste 
16 days ago by dchas
Officials: Foul odor near Choctaw area no cause for concern
BATON ROUGE - The fire department says a strange odor near the Choctaw area Monday night is not dangerous, and nearby residents and businesses should not be concerned.

The foul smell was reported late Monday night near Kincaid Ave and Choctaw Drive. A spokesperson with the Baton Rouge Fire Department says waste oil products leaked from drums while being moved from a nearby warehouse.

HazMat was called to the scene.

Officials say there is no danger and a cleanup effort is underway.
us_LA  industrial  release  response  petroleum  waste 
17 days ago by dchas
UPDATED: Building reopens after chemical leak prompts evacuation at INL building
IDAHO FALLS — The Energy Innovation Building at Idaho National Laboratory has reopened after a refrigerant leak prompted the evacuation of the building.

Sarah Neumann, a spokeswoman for INL said Building C has reopened as of 4 p.m. to the approximately 100 employees who work there.

She confirmed the 407C liquid gas is a chemical used in the air-conditioning system at the building.
us_ID  industrial  release  response  hvac_chemicals 
17 days ago by dchas
KMCO explosion in Crosby, Texas could have been prevented: Lawsuit
CROSBY, Texas (KTRK) -- Could the deadly blast at KMCO have been prevented? Three contractors who worked at the plant say yes.

"They absolutely knew about the leak... at least within the many minutes before the explosion," said Larry Wilson.

Wilson represents the three contractors who filed suit Monday morning.

These contractors are claiming in the suit that officials knew about a leak in a check valve that malfunctioned. That valve, according to the lawsuit, was connected to the butylene line.

"Obviously what they should have been doing at that point was calling a general alarm and evacuating people when they began to suspect a leak," said Wilson.

The lawsuit claims that authorities instead only went to investigate, and in that time the fire ignited

"The only way that you end up with flammable products outside of where they're supposed to be is because you at some point had a breakdown in the system," claimed Wilson.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  flammables 
17 days ago by dchas
Manufacturing unit operator ‘had chemical drum explode in his face’ in poisonous Melbourne inferno
A worker who had been inside a waste management factory in Melbourne that erupted into a blazing inferno had a chemical drum explode in his face in the incident.
Vigneshwaran Vasantharajan had been working to remove dangerous waste from the Campbellfield factory yesterday when the fire was first sparked.
One of Mr Vasantharajan’s friends, who had finished his own shift at the factory just before the fire started, told 9News the man had to be rushed to hospital with severe burns by a truck driver.

“(They were) on his left side, from his ears and cheek and everywhere got injured,” Vasantharaj Vasanthakumar said.
Australia  industrial  fire  injury  waste 
18 days ago by dchas
Life-threatening businesses not to be allowed in old Dhaka: mayor Khokon
Dhaka South city mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon at a discussion on Sunday said that he would not allow any life-threatening businesses in the city.
Dhaka South City Corporation organised the discussion on chemical business crisis and a way out on the Armanitola Playground in Old Dhaka.
Addressing as chief guest, the city mayor said that everyone should be aware about the danger of chemical business so that deadly incidents like Churihatta fire would not be repeat.
’Don’t store 35 flammable items of chemical in warehouses in Old Dhaka,’ he said.
He announced that a fire drill would take place at Armanitola Playground on Tuesday to prepare the local people.
He said that business is to bring prosperity to life, authority could not allow any business when it became the cause of death of many people.
Bangladesh  industrial  discovery  environmental  flammables 
18 days ago by dchas
Thousands evacuated after Taiwan chemical plant explosion
TAIPEI, April 7 (Xinhua) -- More than 10,000 villagers had to be evacuated after an explosion rocked a chemical plant in an industrial zone in Mailiao township, Yunlin county in central-southern Taiwan Sunday afternoon.
The explosion at an aromatics plant of Formosa Chemical and Fiber Corp at about 2 p.m. shattered glass in nearby buildings and shook houses kilometers away, local police and fire fighters said.
Though there have been no immediate reports of human death or injuries, authorities have ordered the evacuation of more than 10,000 villagers of five nearby villages due to gas leak after the explosion.
Footage posted online by witnesses showed dense plume of black smoke billowing into the sky, and loud explosions were heard far from the chemical plant.
"The explosion was very powerful as it was heard across the county," Cai Chang-kun, head of Mailiao township, told the press after the blast, adding he had demanded the chemical plant suspend operation and investigate the cause of the accident.
Taiwan  industrial  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
18 days ago by dchas
Chemical factories to be shut down after deadly explosion in Xiangshui
Chemical enterprises and industry insiders raised concerns over the weekend after a city government in East China's Jiangsu Province ordered a complete shutdown of an industrial park following a deadly explosion in one chemical plant. 

The Yancheng government in Jiangsu ordered the Xiangshui chemical industry park closed to rectify the industry, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

The decision was made after an explosion on March 21 killed 78 people and injured hundreds. Another accident took place on March 31 in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, killing seven people and injuring five, Xinhua reported. 

The Jiangsu provincial government also issued a draft plan on April 1 to rectify and upgrade the chemical industry, which vows to cut the 50 chemical parks in the province to 20 and reduce the number of enterprises to less than 1,000 by 2022, jiemian.com reported.

Some industry insiders expressed concerns over the decision. A chemical company employee in Xiangshui told the Beijing-based newspaper Securities Times that the company thought the government would impose stricter environmental and safety examinations, but the complete shutdown was "beyond expectations."
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
18 days ago by dchas
KMCO Crosby fire and explosion: Temporary restraining order issued
CROSBY, Texas — The Crosby chemical plant that burned after an explosion earlier this week must stop all operations.  And they can’t start up again until an inspection is done by the Harris County Fire Marshal’s office.

The fire marshal’s office worked with the Harris County Attorney’s office to get a temporary restraining order following the explosion that killed one person and injured two others.

"The safety of the residents of Harris County is our number one priority," said Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen. "HCFMO collaborated with HCAO to request a TRO against the defendant to ensure regulatory enforcement of fire and life safety codes. We are grateful for the collaborative efforts as we work towards a safer Harris County."

The explosion and fire happened on Tuesday.  Twenty-seven-year-old James “Bubba” Mangum was killed when a transfer line ignited a tank full of a chemical called isobutylene. Two others were taken to the hospital.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death 
19 days ago by dchas
Workers evacuated after gas explosion at Huntsville factory
Workers are evacuated after a gas explosion in a Huntsville factory this afternoon.

The explosion happened just after 1 pm at National Copper and Smelting. Huntsville Fire and Rescue's hazmat team were called out to see if any chemicals were released because of the gas explosion. It was caused when workers were trying to light a furnace.

"Gas was built up and caused an explosion, it blew a hatch off the actual heater. No one was injured, we're just going ahead and getting the rest of the fumes out of the building right now," said Capt. Frank McKenzie.

Thankfully there were no injuries and no damage to the building.
us_AL  industrial  explosion  response  natural_gas 
20 days ago by dchas
Valve Malfunction Causes Hopper Blast at Florida Plant
Firefighters responded to an explosion in a silo at the D.A.B. Constructors Inc. asphalt plant in Leesburg, FL early Thursday morning, local news organizations reported. Officials said an equipment failure likely lead to the incident. 

Leesburg Deputy Fire Chief Joe Mera told the Leesburg Daily Commercial that the explosion occurred at about 6 a.m. as a worker was starting up equipment at the plant. The worker was reportedly received minor injuries in the blast and was later treated at the scene. 

“It is apparent that a valve malfunctioned on one of their silo-hoppers, pressure built and an explosion resulted,” a Facebook post from the Leesburg Police Department said.

The silo was holding liquid asphalt at the time of the blast. HAZMAT personnel managed to turn off the valve, coverage by ClickOrlando.com said, stopping the substance from leaking beyond the facility’s property. 

People living within a few miles of the plant reported hearing and feeling the explosion when interviewed by several area news outlets. 
us_FL  industrial  explosion  injury  asphalt 
21 days ago by dchas
Texas Deer Park fire risk still a reality, environmental chief says
The ominous black plume of smoke that hung over the Houston area for days last month may be long gone, but Texas' chief environmental regulator told a panel of state lawmakers on Thursday that the fallout from the blaze at a Deer Park petrochemical facility is in full effect — and that danger remains.

"It is an ongoing event. We're still in response mode," said Toby Baker, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, at a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Texas Ports.

He added: "If I’m completely honest, there's still a fire risk."

A fire broke out at a sprawling, waterfront tank farm operated by Intercontinental Terminals Company on March 17 and flared up again days later, prompting cities and school districts in east Harris County to issue shelters-in-place and cancel outdoor activities for fear of poor air quality. Lawmakers had already called for hearings on the incident — and the state had already sued ITC — when another Houston-area chemical plant caught fire earlier this week, resulting in one death and multiple injuries.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  injury  petroleum 
21 days ago by dchas
Another toxic blaze clouds Melbourne
A waste management factory which exploded into a fireball sending a toxic black plume over Melbourne had been storing almost three times the quantity of chemicals permitted.

The inferno at suburban Campbellfield was sparked about 6.40am on Friday and although under control by shortly after midday, is expected to burn for days.

Operators of the Campbellfield business had their licence suspended by the Environmental Protection Agency in March after being repeatedly found storing too much highly-flammable material.

"We inspected the premises and found three times the amount of material being stored on the premise than it was licensed to store," the authority's Damian Wells said.

Storage containers were also inadequately labelled and being handled outside an appropriate area.

The address is registered to Bradbury Industrial Services, a toxic waste disposal company.

The factory is allowed to hold a maximum 150,000 litres of waste material, including solvents, inks, paints and other flammable materials, before being processed.
Australia  industrial  fire  response  flammables  waste 
21 days ago by dchas
Update: Three employees had “significant responsibility” for Chinese chemicals plant explosion
THREE employees of Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Company are said to have “significant responsibility” for an explosion at a Chinese chemicals plant, reports state news agency Xinhua. The explosion killed 78 people and injured more than 600. 

On 21 March at about 14:50 local time a Tianjiayi Chemical plant exploded at the  Chenjiagang Industrial Park, in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, eastern China. As of 2 April, 187 of those injured were still under hospital care, two of whom were in critical condition, says Xinhua.

Xinhua reports that on Wednesday local authorities said three employees had been put under “criminal coercive measures”. AFP reports that according the Chinese parliament’s website this indicates that the employees have been detained, arrested, or put under house arrest. Xinhua adds that in China criminal coercive measures may also include summons by force, bail, and residential surveillance.

According to a statement on the Yancheng government’s official Weibo account the employees were significantly responsible for the plant explosion, reports AFP. Sina Weibo is a Chinese social media platform. The Yangcheng police reportedly declined to offer details about the case when contacted by AFP.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
21 days ago by dchas
'Chemical burns': Delta flight attendants say new uniforms cause rashes
Delta flight attendants are complaining that a new set of uniforms introduced by the airline are still causing skin rashes and worse almost a year after the company introduced them.

And while the airline says it is addressing the issue, some flight attendants say they fear retaliation for complaining.

Last May, Delta unveiled a new set of slick purple uniforms designed by Bravo’s Project Runway star Zac Posen and manufactured by the retailer Land’s End.

The uniforms were designed to turn Delta’s 24,000 flight attendants into walking advertisements for the airline. Delta encouraged flight attendants to promote the new uniforms on their social media accounts.

Shortly after their introduction, some female flight attendants said that they started getting sick, reporting skin rashes, shortness of breath, and hair loss.

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Delta crew members reported rashes. Photograph: Courtesy writer
“I noticed right away after I put the uniforms on that I had shortness of breath and I have been a runner my whole life,” said one Delta flight attendant who spoke to the Guardian on condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation. “I don’t smoke or anything like that, so when I couldn’t get up the stairs without being extremely winded, I know there was some sort of problem.”

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Another flight attendant said she noticed huge rashes all over her body that made it impossible for her to sleep.

“I don’t even want to call them rashes because it’s worse than that. Some of them look like chemical burns, some of them look like chemical bites, but they don’t go away for weeks at an end,” she said. “I had a huge patch that got infected and I had to take an antibiotic, even, to get rid of it.”
industrial  discovery  response  unknown_chemical 
21 days ago by dchas
Lightning strike may have sparked tank fire in east Harris County overnight
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Fire crews responded to a tank fire in east Harris County believed to be caused by a lightning strike during overnight storms

The Crosby Fire Department say it happened just after 1 a.m. Thursday at a well site on Saralla Road north of Barbers Hill.

Three tanks small crude oil tanks containing a saltwater and oil mixture were involved.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  petroleum 
22 days ago by dchas
Paxton files petition against KMCO after deadly chemical plant fire
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a petition Tuesday hours after an explosion at a chemical plant near Houston left one dead, according to a press release from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 

The chemical isobutylene exploded at the KMCO plant in Crosby late Tuesday morning and it took officials about six hours to extinguish the blaze after a transfer line ignited and a tank caught fire, according to reports by KPRC the NBC affiliate in Houston. 

According to an investigation from KPRC, the company KMCO owed a series of OSHA fines before and after the ownership change of the facility in 2012. The investigation found that KMCO paid $247,932 in fines to settle various safety violations.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
22 days ago by dchas
Three detained over China chemical blast that killed 78
Police have detained three suspects linked to a chemical plant blast in China, which killed 78 people and left hundreds injured, local officials said Wednesday.

The explosion last month in Yancheng city, in eastern Jiangsu province, was one of the worst industrial accidents in the country in recent years.

Three employees from Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical, whose facility was involved in the blast, had "significant responsibility" for the accident, according to a statement on the Yancheng government's official Twitter-like Weibo account.

Officials said the suspects have been subjected to "criminal coercive measures" -- a vague term which indicates detention, arrest or being put under house arrest temporarily until police complete their investigations, according to an explanation on the Chinese parliament's website.

Yancheng police declined to offer details on the case when contacted by AFP.

The blast razed an industrial park and blew out the windows of surrounding homes.

The company, with 195 employees, was established in 2007 and mainly produces raw chemical materials including anisole, a highly flammable compound.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  flammables  illegal 
22 days ago by dchas
CSB ‘Safety Spotlight’ highlights agency contributions to guidelines, codes and standards
Washington — The work of standards-developing organizations is an integral part of “protecting the safety and health of workers, the public and the environment,” the Chemical Safety Board says in its most recent Safety Spotlight publication.
Issued March 12, the six-page document highlights the importance of adhering to industry safety protocols and notes that SDOs have incorporated numerous recommendations stemming from CSB incident investigations when drafting guidelines, codes and standards. Those include:
The American Petroleum Institute in April 2010 issued first-of-its-kind guidance on fatigue risk management in the petrochemical industry after CSB’s investigation into a deadly BP refinery explosion and fire in 2005 in Texas City, TX, found that operators in the isomerization unit where the blast occurred likely were fatigued from working long hours on consecutive days. An updated version of the guidance is expected to be released this year, API states.
The National Fire Protection Association in 2011 implemented a provisional gas process safety standard that advises using air, steam, water or inert gas – rather than natural gas – to clean piping after CSB investigations into fatal explosions at a ConAgra Foods plant in Garner, NC, and a Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown, CT, in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The standard was updated in 2013.
The International Code Council made several revisions related to combustible dust hazards in the 2018 edition of the International Fire Code after CSB’s investigation into the 2011 fatal flash fires at a Hoeganaes Corp. facility in Gallatin, TN.
industrial  follow-up  environmental 
22 days ago by dchas
Explosion-damaged Wisconsin refinery will keep using toxic chemical
Husky Energy said it will continue to use hydrogen fluoride at its Superior refinery.

In an announcement posted to its website Wednesday morning, April 3, the Calgary-based oil company said it would continue to use the potentially dangerous chemical in the refining process at its Superior refinery, but would add additional safety features.

The evacuations during the April 26, 2018, explosion and fire were based on hydrogen fluoride release concerns, but no hydrogen fluoride was released during the incident.

Hydrogen fluoride, which is used in the process to create high-octane gasoline, can cause death from an irregular heartbeat or from fluid buildup in the lungs when inhaled at high levels or in combination with skin contact.

In the year since the explosion and fire, Twin Ports residents and local and federal officials have voiced concerns over the refinery’s use of hydrogen fluoride and have urged Husky to use alternative chemicals, like sulfuric acid.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrofluoric_acid 
22 days ago by dchas
The Houston Area Has Had Two Chemical Plant Fires in Two Weeks. Why Do They Keep Happening?
On Tuesday, a fire erupted at a KMCO chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, killing one worker and leaving two others injured. This was the second Texas chemical fire in two weeks, following a blaze that began at a petrochemical storage facility in Deer Park on March 17th. While no injuries were reported, the Deer Park fire triggered widespread concerns about air quality in the area.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told the Associated Press that "it is disturbing and it is problematic that we're seeing this incident in a facility, especially on the heels of" the fire in Deer Park.

Here's what we know about the regulation of this industry.


In an op-ed published by the Houston Chronicle after the Deer Park fire, Elena Craft, the senior director for health and climate at the Environmental Defense Fund, criticized the lack of oversight by state agencies, writing that "the state agency responsible for ensuring chemical plant safety is missing in action—unable or unwilling to protect the health and well-being of Texas families." Craft argues that the Texas Commission on Environmental Air Quality, a state agency tasked with protecting the state's natural resources, has essentially let companies "self-regulate."

In 2016, a year-long Houston Chronicle investigation revealed that chemical plants across Houston, America's petrochemical capital, remain a pervasive and virtually unsupervised threat. According to the investigation, the Houston area has a chemical fire or explosion every six weeks on average.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
22 days ago by dchas
Tesla Fire Is A Reminder For Businesses Storing Hazardous Materials – HazMat Management
A fire broke out on Saturday, February 17 at Tesla’s car plant in Fremont, California. This isn’t anything new, because we do hear about businesses that have fires from time to time.

But, what makes this fire different is that it happened in an area where the company stores some of its hazardous materials outside. And, because of this, Tesla was forced to call the local Fremont Fire Department and required a hazardous materials unit.

According to reports, Tesla has a history of fires at this facility. This includes a fire in their paint shop in April 2018 and another outdoor fire in August 2018.

Add to this, Tesla was already under investigation by Cal-OSHA cited in January and fined $29,000 for allegedly violating six different worker safety regulations in their general assembly 4 (GA4) production line.

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal:

“Tesla allegedly didn’t obtain a building permit or inspect the tent for safety violations, train workers on how to get out of the building in an emergency, or protect themselves from heat illness. Cal-OSHA also claims the tent had exposed metal rods and rebar that workers could potentially impale themselves on, and failed to cover a hole in the floor that was 22 inches wide, 14 inches wide and 8 inches deep.”

Suffice it to say…this fire isn’t helping Tesla’s safety record with OSHA.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
23 days ago by dchas
One dead, two injured in explosion, fire at chemical plant near Houston
One person has died and two others were badly injured in an explosion and fire Tuesday at a Crosby chemical plant in east Harris County. The explosion at the KMCO plant happened around 10:45 a.m.when a transfer line ignited a tank full of a chemical called isobutylene. The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office said the fire was contained by 4:20 p.m.
us_TX  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
23 days ago by dchas
KMCO Crosby plant has long history of environmental, safety violations
One dead and seven injured. Millions in fines. Decades of lawsuits.

On Tuesday, the KMCO facility in Crosby became the latest Houston area chemical facility to be engulfed in flames. The company is also one of the region’s worst offenders of environmental and workplace safety laws, according to the Harris County Attorney’s office.

“As long as I’ve been doing environmental work for Harris County, I’ve been involved in case with this company, either with the previous owner or the current owner,” said Rock Owens, managing attorney for the Harris County Attorney’s environmental section. “And I’ve been doing this for close to 30 years. This company has been around forever causing trouble.”
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  unknown_chemical 
23 days ago by dchas
San Diego Fire, bomb squad respond to hazmat situation in Kearny Mesa
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The San Diego Fire Department and Bomb Squad responded to a hazmat situation in Kearny Mesa Monday.

According to the department, the incident started just before 3 p.m. near the intersection of Balboa Avenue and Ponderosa Avenue near Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport.

According to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, workers at Senior Aerospace Jet Products routinely put titanium shavings in barrels.

Monday afternoon, one of the barrels, a 55-gallon drum, began to get hot and started expanding.

Firefighters arrived at the business and poured water on top of the barrel to cool the contents after evacuating the building.

The bomb squad and hazmat technicians were also called to the scene and, after opening the barrel, say the titanium was reacting with another chemical.
us_CA  industrial  fire  response  titanium 
24 days ago by dchas
U.S. investigators to begin hunt for cause of Texas petrochemical disaster
HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. investigators hope this week for the first time to enter the site of a massive fuel fire and chemical spill outside Houston to begin the hunt for a cause and to determine whether the operator followed safety regulations.

The blaze, at Mitsui & Co's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) storage facility in Deer Park, Texas, began March 17 and released toxic chemicals into the air and nearby waterways. Shipping along the largest oil port in the United States remained disrupted on Monday, as did operations at two nearby refineries.

Fumes from benzene-containing fuel and fear of another fire have prevented investigators from going into the tank farm's "hot zone," officials said Monday. Three tanks holding oils remain to be emptied this week, and responders continue to sop up fuels on the tank farm grounds.

Investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) and Environmental Protection Agency, as well as state and local authorities, plan to enter the site once it is safe.

Access to the site, along the Houston Ship Channel, will help determine what happened and how a fire at one tank holding tens of thousands of barrels of naphtha spread quickly to 10 other giant tanks.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  oils 
24 days ago by dchas
Harrison County chlorine leak resolved
March 31st 2019 — Multiple departments responded to a chlorine leak Sunday at the Cadiz Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Officials on scene said a 150 gallon tank inside the plant sprung a leak.

The Jefferson County HAZMAT unit was called in as a precaution.

Officials said that they leak has been cleaned up, and that there is no danger to the public.
us_OH  industrial  release  response  chlorine  water_treatment 
25 days ago by dchas
Release of "chemical irritant" prompts residents to shelter in place in Covington
COVINGTON, Ky. (WKRC) - The Covington Fire Department responded to the release of a "chemical irritant" on Sunday afternoon, prompting local businesses and residents to shelter in place.

The call to the fire department came in shortly before 1 p.m. with the caller stating there was "white smoke" in the area.

The release of the chemical happened as a result of an apparent equipment failure at the Interplastic Corporation plant on Latonia Ave. in Covington. Officials believe that a pressure release valve failed or became stuck.

According to Covington Fire Chief Mark Pierce, no one was injured by the vapor cloud that was coming from the plant, blowing east, and dissipating.

Fire officials say that the chemical is a lung irritant.

The Covington Fire Department advised residents within 1,000 feet of the plant to shelter in place, meaning go inside, shut your doors and windows, and turn off any ventilation drawing air in from the outside.
us_KY  industrial  release  response  irritant 
25 days ago by dchas
Houston chemical disaster zone too hazardous for investigators
HOUSTON (Bloomberg) -- Intercontinental Terminal Co. is still trying to drain millions of gallons of volatile oil byproducts from tanks damaged in the four-day blaze that began on March 17. The ground around the tanks is also saturated in dangerous fluids, severely restricting access to the facility 20 mi (32 km) east of downtown Houston. On Friday, the company said they may be able to allow some access early this week.

ITC and its top executive, Bernt Netland, have been chastised by elected officials for their handling of the unfolding disaster that cast a mile-high plume of black smoke over the fourth-largest American city for days, paralyzed its eastern suburbs and severed Houston’s waterborne access to the Gulf of Mexico. Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen’s probe of the event has so far been restricted to off-site interviews.

“We haven’t been able to gain access to the site yet,” said Rachel Moreno, a spokeswoman for the fire marshal. “They’re still doing emergency operations and we need to wait until it’s safe for the investigators to go in.”

Benzene eruptions

Christensen’s investigators won’t enter the site until the remaining tanks are emptied and other hazards have been mitigated, Moreno said. Clouds of cancer-causing benzene have continued to waft over the disaster site as well as nearby factories and suburbs, including one early Friday, according to ITC.

Oil tankers and other ships headed for the manufacturing nexus along the Houston Ship Channel have been backing up in Galveston Bay and the Gulf because of runoff from ITC’s facility that polluted the waterway. The U.S. Coast Guard commander for the region said he doesn’t know when things may return to normal.

Almost 20 mi of rubber barriers have been deployed to halt the spread of the oily sheen and protect oyster beds. Ferry service in the area remains shut down and the annual re-enactment of the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto that won Texas independence from Mexico has been canceled.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  response  benzene  petroleum  runoff 
25 days ago by dchas
Winds could cause spike in volatile chemicals in air, county officials say
LA PORTE, Texas — Brisk winds out of the north to northeast put communities near industrial areas in east Harris County at risk of more volatile chemicals in the air, according to the county's emergency management office.

The county says all of its readings as of 3:50 p.m. Sunday had "been below levels that would warrant protective actions to be taken." But the winds could cause short-lived spikes, the county says.

Meanwhile, La Porte chemical plant Nouryon Battleground had issued a shelter in place as of 1:40 p.m. for a chemical release at Intercontinental Terminals Company, where storage tanks burned on and off for about a week earlier this month.

That advisory has since been lifted.

The county's public health department still says based on air monitoring reports, "there is a low health risk for the community."
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical 
25 days ago by dchas
China Factory Explosion Leaves 7 Dead; Fifth Deadly Blast in 10 Days
An explosion at a metal-processing plant in China’s Jiangsu province has killed seven people, authorities said on March 31.

This is the fourth fatal blast in China since a massive chemical plant explosion rocked an industrial park in Yancheng city, also in Jiangsu province, on March 21. That blast killed at least 78 people, left more than 600 injured, and triggered a nationwide industrial safety-inspection campaign by the Beijing regime.

Kunshan Blast

The March 31 blast involved a container of scrap metal that exploded in the outdoor yard of a metal-molding plant in a bonded area in the city of Kunshan, sparking a fire, the local government said on its official Weibo account, China’s version of Twitter.

“The cause of the incident is being investigated,” it said of the blast that also injured five others, one of whom was severely injured.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  metals  waste 
25 days ago by dchas
7 dead, 5 injured in container blast in east China's Jiangsu province, East Asia News & Top Stories
BEIJING (AFP) - An explosion at an electronics component manufacturer in east China on Sunday (March 31) killed seven and injured five others, local authorities said.

The blast happened when a container for storing scrap metal burst into flames outside a factory in an export processing zone in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, the local government said on its official WeChat social media account.

“The cause of the accident outside Kunshan Waffer Technology is still under investigation,” the statement said.
China  industrial  explosion  death  metals  waste 
26 days ago by dchas
Massive Fire At Chemical Factory In Jodhpur, Several Fire Engines At Spot
JODHPUR: A massive fire has broken out at a chemical factory in Jodhpur today. Several fire tenders have been rushed to the spot to contain the fire, which has reportedly spread to one or two nearby factories. However, no casualties have been reported.
The fire started at a factory in the city's Bansi Industrial area.

Huge flames and smoke were seen emanating from the factory with firefighters struggling hard to extinguish the flame. Personnel of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) also reached the spot.
India  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
26 days ago by dchas
China treats polluted water after chemical plant blast
XIANGSHUI, Jiangsu, March 30 (Xinhua) -- About 18,000 cubic meters of polluted water from the site of a deadly blast in eastern China's Jiangsu Province had been transported to sewage treatment facilities of two nearby chemical factories for temporary storage by Saturday noon, according to the rescue headquarters.
The acidic wastewater was from a pit formed after the explosion, which measures about 120 meters in diameter and 1.7 meters in depth.
The polluted water was first neutralized with alkaline substances and then transported through pipelines to the said facilities, before being treated later, said the rescue headquarters.
The headquarters said it would use lime to neutralize and solidify the acidic pollutants at the bottom of the pit. They will be treated as dangerous waste together with polluted soil.
China  industrial  follow-up  response  waste 
26 days ago by dchas
No Injuries During Chlorine Leak at Wastewater Plant
SHADYSIDE — Firefighters and a hazmat unit were called in Friday to contain a chlorine leak inside the Shadyside Wastewater Treatment Plant.

OR&W Fire District Assistant Fire Chief John Shaver said employees discovered a detection alarm going off before 7 a.m. and called 911 for help. The small leak was caused by a chlorine regulator malfunctioning. Although a backup regulator began to work, a small amount of the chlorine did escape into the room.

Belmont County Emergency Management Agency Director Dave Ivan said the chlorine was in a gas form. A hazmat team from Belmont County was called in to help determine the cause of the leak.
us_WV  industrial  release  response  chlorine  water_treatment 
27 days ago by dchas
Five killed in factory explosion in eastern China
Five workers were killed and three injured in a factory explosion caused by a gas leak in eastern China, local authorities said Saturday.

The blast happened Friday night at a perlite workshop in Shandong province, city officials said in a statement.

All five victims were night shift workers inside the Qingzhou city factory during the explosion. Three others outside the workshop suffered mild injuries and are still in hospital under observation.

"The cause of the accident was initially found to be a liquefied natural gas leak, and the specific cause is under further investigation," the statement said.

A company official from the Yongli Perlite Plant has also been detained by local authorities, it added.

Perlite is a form of volcanic glass that it mined and processed, often used in horticulture, insulation and plastics production.
China  industrial  explosion  death  natural_gas 
27 days ago by dchas
ITC Disaster A Stain, But Also An Opportunity For Petrochemical Industry – Houston Public Media
The fire at the ITC chemical storage facility in Deer Park put Houston and the petrochemical industry in the national spotlight.
“I think it absolutely has an impact on the perception of the industry itself,” said Rachel Meidl, fellow of energy and environment at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. “And I think it is the obligation of the organization to strengthen and protect the public and the environment in which it operates.”
Meidl was previously the deputy associate administrator for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
She said it’s going to be difficult for the industry to regain the public’s trust, but that it also provides an opportunity to improve government regulations and for the industry to strengthen its safety protocols.
She said lessons were learned from the Arkema plant incident in Crosby during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, when toxic chemicals were found in the water after the plant flooded, caught fire and partially exploded.
“We have made changes in understanding flood site vulnerability and flood risk assessment and strengthening flood resiliency,” Meidl said.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  petroleum 
27 days ago by dchas
Croda fined $246K for Thanksgiving weekend gas leak that closed Delaware Memorial Bridge
Delaware environmental regulators have fined a chemical manufacturer $246,000 for permit violations that led to the release of more than a ton of a highly flammable gas in November and forced the closure of the Delaware Memorial Bridge for seven hours Thanksgiving weekend.

The release of nearly 2,700 pounds of ethylene oxide occurred on one of the busiest travel days of the year, the Sunday after the holiday. The leak also forced many residents of the nearby New Castle area to stay in their homes. The company’s system to prevent fire or explosions also spilled more than 700,000 gallons of deluge water into the ground and a wooded area.

The accident occurred at Croda Inc.’s Atlas Point plant at the base of the twin span connecting Delaware and New Jersey. Croda Inc. is part of Croda International, headquartered in Great Britain.

The Delaware plant, which is now closed pending the state’s approval to resume operations, makes ethylene oxide, which is used to produce compounds that promote mixing of oil- and water-based ingredients in consumer products such as pharmaceuticals and shaving cream.
us_DE  industrial  follow-up  environmental  ethylene_oxide 
27 days ago by dchas
Fluoride spill at SAWS facility cleaned up
San Antonio Water System workers transferring fluoride at the utility’s North East Operations Center on Friday spilled about 4,100 gallons of the chemical, officials said.
The spill was caused by malfunctioning valves, SAWS spokeswoman Anne Hayden said.
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“As a result, some of the fluoride was lost into the secondary containment area,” she said. “We have all sorts of protocol of how we manage fluoride and chlorine, the two biggest chemicals we work with.”
SAWS’ protocol includes calling in the San Antonio Fire Department’s hazardous materials team and notifying the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The spill occurred when SAWS employees were receiving a delivery of fluoride at the facility at 13655 O’Connor Road. No one was injured in the incide
us_TX  industrial  release  response  water  treatment 
27 days ago by dchas
Firefighters at Houston Fire Chemical Disaster Scrambled for Foam
Firefighters confronted with the worst Gulf Coast industrial disaster in 14 years had to call on outside sources to augment their supply of the special foam required to extinguish chemical blazes.

Intercontinental Terminal Co. confirmed it appealed to other companies for foam during the fire that erupted on March 17 and ravaged its chemical storage complex in Houston’s eastern suburbs for four days. Almost two weeks after the calamity began, local officials are questioning whether ITC had the proper equipment and personnel in place to handle such an event.

“It just seems that they had an incredible amount of difficulty doing something they should have been prepared to do,” said Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia, whose precinct encompasses the disaster site. “They have been operating at the minimum requirements. They are only required to have so much foam. This fire proved to be more than the foam they were required to have.”

ITC, a unit of Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co., sought additional foam from third-party sources “for the entire event,” Brent Weber, the senior vice president of sales and marketing who’s been the face of the company’s response effort.

However, Weber said ITC never ran short of foam. The entities ITC called upon included Channel Industries Mutual Aid, a Houston-area cooperative that lends rescue trucks and other gear when a member company has an emergency.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  response  other_chemical 
27 days ago by dchas
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