Six injured following chemical spill at Kennett mushroom facility
KENNETT SQUARE>> At least a half dozen people were treated following a chemical spill at Chester County mushroom firm Wednesday, officials said.

Emergency crews converged on Kaolin Mushroom Farms Inc. in the 600 block of West South Street shortly before noon Wednesday. Kennett Square, Longwood and Avondale fire companies responded to the incident. Crews requested Chester County hazmat crews, when it became clear of the score of those affected by the spill and to contain the spill.

The Chester County Hazardous Materials Unit responded to the farm and at least six people were taken to the hospital, according to an official at the scene.

The injured were evaluated by medics on scene then moved to a decontamination station at Washington and Cypress streets to be scrubbed, assuring all chemicals were gone.

Firefighters built the decontamination station using tarps, hoses and dirt from a construction site. They used soap and water to scrub the patients who disrobed. Contaminated water was contained in the decon area.

The employees were then transported to the hospital. Patients went to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Jennersville and Chester County Hospital. A firefighter was reported injured.

Kaolin Mushroom Farm released the following statement: “At approximately 11:45 am today at our Kennett Square, Pennsylvania facility, an incident occurred where areas were evacuated due to a possible spill of peracetic acid in one of our mushroom wash areas. This product is commonly used in the food industry as a cleanser and disinfectant. Nine employees were treated on-site for possible exposure and transferred to local area hospitals for observation and treatment if required. The company’s first priority is to its employees and surrounding communities. Local Hazmat teams are on-site conducting a thorough review.”
us_PA  industrial  release  injury  cleaners 
15 hours ago
Factory fire kills 6 in Munshiganj
A fire in a textile factory in Bangladesh killed six workers on Wednesday before it was extinguished, police said, renewing fears about safety in the multi-billion dollar industry.

Rahman said the fire originated from the factory's chemical godown on the first floor of the building which subsequently spread to other parts soon.

Local people are still doubtful about the death toll as nobody from the locality is being allowed to enter the building.

The fire service said the blaze may have been caused by sparks from welding work with flammable chemicals stored in a warehouse.

According to him, the victims did not die from the fire rather suffocated from the fumes of the chemicals.

Meanwhile, firefighters recovered six bodies from the textile mill, said the police official.
Bangladesh  industrial  fire  death  flammables 
15 hours ago
Amazon reviews algorithm after recommending bomb ingredients to customers
Retail giant Amazon is reviewing its online store’s algorithm after it recommended customers buy bomb ingredients together.

The ingredients were being recommended together under the “frequently bought together” and “customers who bought this item also bought” sections, Britain’s Channel 4 News revealed.

The items are innocent on their own but can be put together to create potentially deadly chemical explosives.

On Tuesday, The New Daily was able to find the ingredients for black powder and thermite on Amazon, and confirmed chemicals were recommended for purchase together.

The New Daily chose not to name or picture the labels for the items.

Other materials that could be used in bomb making, including ball bearings, ignition systems and remote detonators, were freely available on the site, and some of them were suggested to be bought with the chemicals.
Australia  public  discovery  environmental  bomb 
15 hours ago
Investigation May Require Wacker Chemical To Close For Several Months
After the incident at Wacker’s U.S. production site in Charleston, root-cause investigation work is now underway.  Global President Wacker Polysilicon Tobias Brandis said the plant may be closed for several months for the investigation.

The explosion on Sept. 7 was caused by a technical defect prompting a leak of hydrogen which subsequently caught fire, thereby severely damaging a small, but important facility of the production plant.

Wacker has engaged an independent expert team to determine the root cause of the incident and is cooperating with governmental authorities to ensure a safe resumption of operations. Financial effects on Wacker stemming from this incident are expected to be only minor due to insurance coverage for damages and loss of production, said officials. 
us_TN  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrogen 
15 hours ago
Federal panel votes to warn public about flame retardants in baby products, furniture
For the first time a federal agency is moving to outlaw an entire class of toxic flame retardants, a policy change intended to protect Americans from chemicals linked to cancer, neurological deficits, hormone disruption and other health problems.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted Wednesday to immediately warn the public about the dangers of chemicals known as organohalogens in baby and toddler products, mattresses, upholstered furniture and electronics enclosures. The commission also set in motion what promises to be a contentious debate about new regulations prohibiting manufacturers from adding any halogenated flame retardants to products covered by the ban.

Several of the chemicals already have been forced off the market after independent scientists determined they were accumulating in people and posed serious health risks. But advocates and scientists noted the chemical industry has a long history of replacing harmful flame retardants with chemically similar compounds that later were found to be just as worrisome, if not more so.
us_IL  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
15 hours ago
Feds cite safety deficiencies in ExxonMobil fire
Several “safety management system deficiencies” led to a fire at the Baton Rouge ExxonMobil refinery last year that severely burned four workers and led to $165,000 in fines for the company, according to a safety bulletin issued by federal officials.

“Our investigation found that these accepted practices were conducted without appropriate safety hazard analysis, needlessly injuring these workers,” CSB Chair Vanessa Allen Sutherland says in a statement. “It is important to remember that good safety practices are good maintenance practices and good business practices.”

In its report, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board cited several “safety management system deficiencies” at the Baton Rouge refinery that led the fire, which occurred last November. The refinery failed to address older, less reliable equipment, had a lack of written procedures for operating the equipment that caught fire and a lack of training, among other things. Updating the older valves, as was done to 97% of the refinery’s valves, would likely have prevented the incident, the board says.

“We will continue to evaluate human factors associated with equipment design to mitigate identified hazards, and will evaluate and update procedures and training,” an ExxonMobil spokeswoman says in a statement. “Safety is a core value at ExxonMobil. Nothing is more important than the safety and health of our employees, our contractors and the people who live and work near our operations.”
us_LA  industrial  follow-up  injury  unknown_chemical 
15 hours ago
Air testing provider added to Texas chemical plant fire law suit
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Air monitoring company Bureau Veritas SA has been added to a negligence suit, lawyers for Texas police and emergency workers said on Wednesday, after the first responders alleged they inhaled dangerous fumes during a fire at a chemical plant.

The suit, filed in Harris County District Court, seeks at least $75,000 for injuries caused by the alleged negligence after volatile organic chemicals were ignited at the plant in Crosby, Texas, on Aug. 31. The fire came after flooding from Hurricane Harvey knocked out power to an Arkema SA chemical plant.

The amended suit added six more emergency workers and Crosby residents to its list of plaintiffs, which now numbers 18.

Arkema and local officials set up a 1.5 mile radius evacuation zone, after warning there was no way to prevent the chemicals from igniting after the plant’s cooling systems shut and its workers evacuated.

The workers said Bureau Veritas failed to warn them of the dangers or advise them to take precautions despite being in regular communication, according to the suit.

About 15 emergency workers manning the evacuation perimeter required care at the scene or were taken to a hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  injury  unknown_chemical 
15 hours ago
One injured at suspected Noble Twp meth lab
BRONSON, MI (WTVB) - A suspected meth lab was discovered in southwest Branch County early today and one person at the house was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Branch County 911 Central Dispatch received a call at 2:50 a.m. Wednesday from a man at a home on Whipple Road in Noble Township who said he needed an ambulance for a medical condition. Michigan State Police reported when they arrived at the scene for possible assistance, there was a very strong odor outside the residence of what appeared to methamphetamine. Troopers also told 911 there was a small child in the house.

The Bronson Fire Department responded with a hazmat unit for a possible cleanup detail and firemen were on the job for around 45 minutes. Life Care transported the injured man to the Community Health Center of Branch County.
us_MI  public  release  injury  clandestine_lab 
Chemical company will investigate acid leak in South Baltimore
Officials from Solvay USA Inc. launched an investigation Tuesday into a toxic acid leak at the company’s chemical plant in South Baltimore’s Fairfield industrial area.

After a cloud of chlorosulfonic acid escaped into the air Monday morning as a tank truck was being unloaded, nearby workers and residents were warned to shelter in place for several hours. Baltimore’s fire department HAZMAT team responded to the leak, and no one was injured.

Solvay, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, said it will send process safety specialists and technicians from several company locations to investigate the incident and will work with the city’s hazmat teams. The chemical company plans to review mechanical equipment, procedures, training and other details to identify causes and ways to prevent a recurrence. Technicians also will look into potential improvements at the site.
us_MD  industrial  follow-up  response  other_chemical 
Karachi: Blast hits cosmetics factory at Shahrah-e-Faisal
KARACHI: Fire broke out on Wednesday in a cosmetics factory in Karachi following a blast, prompting police and fire fighters to rush to the scene. The situation was going on with no casualties reported so far.

According to our correspondent, the factory is located near Nursery bus stop on Shahrah-e-Faisal in PECHS Block 6 area.

The blast triggered fire in basement and later engulfed first floor of the multi-storey building where rescue teams, police and fire fighters reached soon after the explosion.

Fire fighters said the factory chemical exploded after catching fire that erupted due to known reasons.

More than a dozen people were inside the factory, but no casualty was reported. They were safely evacuated. - Samaa
Pakistan  industrial  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
How Monsanto Manufactured Outrage At Chemical Cancer Classification It Expected
Three years ago this month Monsanto Co. executives realized they had a big problem on their hands.

It was September 2014 and the company’s top-selling chemical, the weed killer called glyphosate that is the foundation for Monsanto’s branded Roundup products, had been selected as one among a handful of pesticides to undergo scrutiny by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Monsanto had spent decades fending off concerns about the safety of glyphosate and decrying scientific research indicating the chemical might cause cancer or other diseases. And even though the IARC review was still months away, Monsanto’s own scientists knew what the outcome would likely be – and they knew it wouldn’t be good.

Internal company records show not just the level of fear Monsanto had over the impending review, but notably that company officials fully expected IARC scientists would find at least some cancer connections to glyphosate. Company scientists discussed the “vulnerability” that surrounded their efforts to defend glyphosate amid multiple unfavorable research findings in studies of people and animals exposed to the weed killer. In addition to epidemiology studies, “we also have potential vulnerabilities in the other areas that IARC will consider, namely, exposure, genetox, and mode of action…” a Monsanto scientist wrote in October 2014. That same email discussed a need to find allies and arrange funding for a “fight” – all months before the IARC meeting in March 2015.

And Monsanto predicted internally before IARC even met that the review of the scientific evidence would result in a decision that glyphosate “possibly” was carcinogenic, or “probably” was. Monsanto officials had forecast the IARC decision in an internal “preparedness” plan that warned colleagues to “assume and prepare for the outcome...” The document shows Monsanto thought it most likely that IARC would peg glyphosate as a “possible human carcinogen.” The rating of probable carcinogen was “possible but less likely,” the Monsanto memo stated. IARC ultimately did classify glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Europe  public  discovery  environmental  pesticides 
M1 to remain closed southbound into the night due to chemical leak
The London-bound side of the M1 is likely to remain shut into the night while repairs are carried out after a corrosive chemical caused damage to the carriageway.

The motorway was shut in both directions at around 7.30am today (September 19) following the discovery of a suspicious object under a bridge near Newport Pagnell services between Junction 15 and 14.

The bomb squad was called in to investigate the object, which turned out to contain "liquid and a chemical substance" rather than an explosive.
United_Kingdom  transportation  release  response  corrosives 
Lab technicians injured as machine explodes in SMS Hospital
JAIPUR: Two lab technicians suffered injuries when a centrifuge machine in microbiology laboratory exploded in Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital on Monday morning.
The two injured lab technicians are at a high risk of getting infected with serious diseases as at the time of explosion there were 116 blood samples in the centrifuge machine. With the blast, the blood samples too came out of the machine with a force. These samples were in the process of being tested but nobody knows what kind of infection or viruses these blood samples contained.
Centrifuge is a machine which is used for the separation of fluids, based on density— serum and white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. The explosion created panic in the hospital as it made a loud noise. The patients along with doctors came out of their wards in fear but when they came to know about the explosion in machine, they calmed down.
It is not the first such incident in the laboratory. Recently, an incubator had caught fire. Fortunately in that incident no one was hurt. Two lab technicians suffered serious injuries— one lab technicians suffered fracture in mandible, or lower jaw while other suffered fracture in hand. "They will undergo surgery," said Dr SS Yadav, spokesperson, SMS Hospital.
India  laboratory  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Shelter in place lifted after chemical leak in Baltimore
BALTIMORE (RNN) - Some residents near a chemical plant were told to shelter in place for two hoursbecause of a chemical leak. That order has been lifted.

Baltimore Fire Department Chief Roman Clark said it appears that a valve from a tanker separated from a trailer, causing the leak at the Solvay Plant. Clark said the chemical involved is chlorosulfuric acid, WBAL reports. 

Baltimore's Office of Emergency Management said that residents within a one-mile radius were told to shelter in place. 

The Baltimore Fire Department called it a Level 3 hazmat situation.

That means extremely dangerous materials are in the area, but it may be entered by emergency personnel in protective clothing that have self-contained breathing apparatus, and leaving no skin exposed.
us_MD  industrial  release  response  other_chemical 
2 days ago
Potentially deadly bomb ingredients are ‘frequently bought together’ on Amazon – Channel 4 News
Channel 4 News has discovered that Amazon’s algorithm guides users to the necessary chemical combinations for producing explosives and incendiary devices. Ingredients which are innocent on their own are suggested for purchase together as “Frequently bought together” products, as it does with all other goods.

Ingredients for black powder and thermite are grouped together under a “Frequently bought together” section on listings for specific chemicals.

Steel ball bearings often used as shrapnel in explosive devices, ignition systems and remote detonators are also readily available; some promoted by the website on the same page as these chemicals as products that “Customers who bought this item also bought”.

Black powder and thermite

Users searching for a common chemical compound used in food production — which Channel 4 News has decided not to name — are offered the ingredients to produce explosive black powder.
United_Kingdom  public  discovery  environmental  explosives 
2 days ago
Air board refuses to hear concerns over Institute methanol plant
Members of a state board on Monday refused to hear a permit appeal from a citizen group that is concerned that potential fires, explosions or other accidents at the US Methanol plant under construction in Institute could pose health and safety risks for area residents.

The West Virginia Air Quality Board granted the Department of Environmental Protection’s motion to dismiss an appeal that the group People Concerned About Chemical Safety filed, agreeing with the DEP that the issues raised were beyond the scope of the state agency’s job. The decision means the board won’t hold a full hearing with testimony about the citizen group concerns.

In arguing against the appeal being dismissed, Bill DePaulo, attorney for the People Concerned organization, urged the board members to make clear what ruling for the DEP’s motion would be saying to the public.

“Win or lose, I’d just like a clear ruling,” DePaulo told board members. “Do it in big, bold letters: ‘We do not consider the human health and safety in issuing this permit.’ ”

US Methanol hopes to start production in mid-2018 at the plant that would convert natural gas to methanol, a common industrial feedstock. The facility, located at the Institute property now operated by Dow Chemical, would use parts from a deconstructed plant in Brazil.
us_WV  public  discovery  environmental  methanol 
2 days ago
Zambia signatory to chemical, safety treaties – Zambia Daily Mail
ZAMBIA is a party to a number of international chemical, safety and other related conventions.
The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions are among the several agreements Zambia has signed. The three altogether cover elements of “cradle-to-grave” management as they aimed at removing hazardous and chemical wastes.

By being a signatory to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, Government has demonstrated its desire to comply with standards and norms of being a hazardous and waste chemicals-free nation.

Conventions give birth to institutions which help the United Nations in monitoring the adherence to the agreements.
In Africa, the need for the co-ordinated implementation of chemical multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) is critical for providing the basis and crucial elements for ‘life cycle management’ of toxic chemicals.
Zambia is a signatory to the African Institute statutes, which is a regional centre for Anglophone Africa.
The synergy of the chemical MEAs provides the framework for environmentally sound chemical management.
Institutions born out of conventions help build effective international and regional frameworks to minimise and prevent the impacts of toxic chemicals and hazardous waste and give individual countries and the global community a way to address the ever increasing pollution of humans and the environment.
Zambia  public  discovery  environmental  toxics  wastes 
2 days ago
U.S. chemical makers, OSHA form worker safety alliance on diisocyanates
The Trump Administration and a chemical industry group are forming a government-industry alliance with an intent to protect workers from exposure to diisocyanates, substances that are powerful irritants. The effort by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC), an industry trade association, would raise awareness of safe practices for use of these substances in the polyurethane industry.
However, industrial health experts warn that the alliance, announced on Sept. 14, may be a response to efforts in California to toughen safety requirements for some of these chemicals.
Isocyanates are raw materials for making polyurethane products, such as insulation, car seats, foam mattresses, shoes, and adhesives. Exposure to isocyanates can irritate the skin and mucous membranes, cause chest tightness and difficulty breathing, and lead to asthma and death.
The joint effort calls for creation of a web-based training program on the safer use of chemicals and the potential routes of exposure to users of these substances. It will develop guidance on medical surveillance and clinical evaluation techniques for employers and workers using the chemicals.
industrial  discovery  environmental  diisocyanates 
2 days ago
Hazmat Leak At Larz Anderson Skating Rink
BROOKLINE, MA — Larz Anderson Park is still closed, hours after a Hazmat leak was reported at the skating rink in Brookline, police said.

Brookline Police and fire department officials were on the scene with a Haz Mat crew looking into just what happened, according to fire officials. It turned out: The refrigerant system in the Zamboni room leaked, causing the spill.

Police at the start said the leak was not suspicious, but asked residents to avoid the area.
us_MA  public  release  response  hvac_chemicals 
3 days ago
Savannah Fire responds to sulfuric acid spill on West Bay Street
The Savannah Fire Department, Savannah Chatham Metro Police and emergency medical personnel responded to a sulfuric acid spill on West Bay Street Sunday afternoon.

Savannah Fire Battalion Chief Elzie Kitchen said the department received a call about a Tidewater Transit Co., Inc. (TWT) truck leaking sulfuric acid on West Bay Street near Lissner Avenue. When fire crews arrived, SCMPD officers had already pulled the leaking commercial truck over.

Kitchen said firefighters loosened the lid on the tank to reduce the pressure inside to mitigate the situation, but some of the acid had already spilled onto the ground.

"We were able to contain that also," Kitchen said. "It was a little spill. It wasn't much. Even the area that we had pads on was probably a circumference of maybe 10 feet." 

Kitchen said he isn't sure how much acid leaked out of the truck, but said the truck's tank can hold 4,000 pounds of liquid.
us_GA  transportation  release  injury  sulfuric_acid 
3 days ago
PFD: Strong odor of natural gas detected following north Phoenix
The Phoenix Fire Department is investigating a house fire that occurred in north Phoenix late Saturday night. 

At around 11:00 p.m., fire crews responded to a house fire near 19th Avenue and Union Hills Drive.

According to Phoenix fire, when their crews arrived on the scene, they found the single-story structure engulfed in flames.

Phoenix fire's strategy was later declared defensive meaning firefighters fought the fire from the exterior as nothing was viable on the interior due to the amount of fire.

After 20 minutes of extinguishment operations, a strong odor of natural gas was detected and hazmat teams confirmed the presence of gas with a meter, according to Phoenix fire officials.

Southwest Gas also responded to address the gas situation.
us_AZ  public  fire  response  methane  natural_gas 
3 days ago
People evacuated from homes and several taken to hospital after 'chemical incident' in Alwold Crescent, Lee (From News Shopper)
Several people were taken to hospital with nausea and vomiting after a suspected chemical incident in Lee.

Emergency services were called to Alwold Crescent amid fears residents may have suffered an allergic reaction.

Witnesses said a number of people suffered a reaction to an unknown substance on Sunday morning.

Taxi driver Ian Crouch, 39, told the Sun that emergency services appeared to be investigating the sewage system.

Five fire engines, paramedics and police were all deployed to deal with the incident.

A spokesman for the Met Police said the incident was not believed to be crime-related.
United_Kingdom  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Chemicals still leaking from WACKER more than a week after explosion
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Cleanup is still underway at the Wacker Charleston plant according to Bradley County Officials.
Bradley County EMA Director Troy Spence says until this weekend, the room that was used to house the damaged piping with chemicals in them, was unsafe for workers to enter to clean-up.
Spence told us he now knows for a fact, that room was made safe to enter this weekend so the clean-up process to continue.
Spence says the explosion two weeks ago damaged the pipes and a small amount of chemicals continued to leak in what's called a burp reaction.
us_TN  industrial  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Chemical Still Being Release at Site of Plant Blast
CHARLESTON, Tenn. (AP) — More than a week after an explosion at an east Tennessee chemical plant, hydrochloric acid is still leaking from the building.

An estimated six tons of chemicals remain in an unsecure site at the Wacker Polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee, the site of an explosion on Sept. 7. The Times Free Press reports that workers cannot enter the building for cleanup.

The area where the explosion occurred remained unsafe Friday afternoon, and there was no way to remove the chemicals safely, said Shawn Fairbanks, director of Bradley County Fire & Rescue.

Bradley County Emergency Management Agency Director Troy Spence says small doses of the chemicals in the room escape as moisture enters the open pipes.

The explosion briefly closed an interstate and spurred shelter-in-place orders.
us_TN  industrial  follow-up  response  hydrochloric_acid 
3 days ago
Marijuana lab found in Willits building where explosion blew hole in roof
Mendocino County authorities discovered a marijuana extraction laboratory in a Willits industrial building where an explosion blew a large hole in the roof, the Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Firefighters with the Little Lake Fire Protection District responded to an explosion about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday at a 30,000-square-foot, metal-sided building in the 500 block of Cropley Lane, Capt. Greg Van Patten said in a press release.

There was no sign of a fire, but officials found a hole in the roof caused by an “unknown projectile,” he said.

No one was found in the building, but deputies discovered the lab inside and several greenhouses on the property that contained several hundred marijuana plants, Van Patten said. Investigators determined a cannabis cultivation permit had been issued by the Mendocino County Agriculture Department for the property.
us_CA  public  explosion  response  clandestine_lab 
4 days ago
Richmond oil storage company fined over leak into SF Bay
MARTINEZ — A petroleum storage company has agreed to pay fines totaling $160,000 and to undergo a multi-million dollar repair of a tank that leaked oil into the San Francisco Bay, court records show.

The Houston-based company Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC agreed to the fine Sept. 6, the same day the Contra Costa District Attorney filed a civil complaint against the company. It all stems from a May 2016 spill into the Santa Fe Channel, located next to Kinder Morgan’s storage facility in the Richmond harbor.

Authorities don’t know exactly how much oil spilled into the bay, but estimate it was less than 100 gallons. The hazmat services wing of the county’s health services department inspected the facility in June and discovered a secondary containment unit was leaking oil into the ground, which was then making its way into the bay.

According to the company’s website, Kinder Morgan’s Richmond facility has 136 tanks and the capacity to store 639,271 barrels. The facility has a dock for the loading and unloading of petroleum products from tanker ships.

“We are pleased to resolve this dispute on terms that will allow the development of a special environmental project for the benefit of the citizens of Richmond and Contra Costa County,” said Melissa Ruiz, a spokeswoman for Kinder Morgan.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  oils  petroleum 
4 days ago
Fire Breaks Out at TX Petrochemical Plant
Sept. 15--A blaze that broke out Friday night at an industrial plant in Mont Belvieu is under control, authorities said.

Fire trucks and first responders rushed to the Enterprise Products facility on FM 1942 as smoke filled the air and flames poured out of the Chambers County plant.

"It is fully contained and not a hazard at this time," Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said just after 8 p.m. "The fire is getting smaller and we do not see it as being a bigger threat than what it is."

Authorities shuttered FM 1942 in Chambers County as crews responded. It wasn't initially clear which facility had caught fire, as a number of chemical and petrochemical plants are in the area, Hawthorne said.

"It's not a chemical fire, it's a petrochemical fire," Hawthorne said. "That's a good thing -- it's easier to fight."

A person working at the ExxonMobile building in Baytown said he first noticed the flames from the seventh floor around 7:15 p.m.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  petroleum 
4 days ago
Portishead explosion linked to Bedminster Chemical incident, say police
Residents near the Avon and Somerset Police HQ in Portishead were awoken by a loud explosion at around 7am this morning.

Residents reported a loud explosion that rocked houses and caused the ground to shake.

Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed that the explosion was related to the incident in Bedminster where hazardous substances were found at house in Hastings Close.

Two men were taken to hospital, one suffering burns to his legs.

Bomb disposal experts arrived on the scene to examine "potentially hazardous chemicals" found at the house.

Residents were allowed to return on Monday 11 September after three nights in temporary accommodation.

But yesterday, Friday 15 September, residents were evacuated again from two houses on Hastings Close after police discovered more hazardous substances at the house.

This morning at 6.55am locals reported hearing an explosion near the Police HQ in Portishead.
United_Kingdom  public  explosion  response  bomb 
4 days ago
Chemical still being release at site of plant blast
More than a week after an explosion at an east Tennessee chemical plant, hydrochloric acid is still leaking from the building.

An estimated six tons of chemicals remain in an unsecure site at the Wacker Polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee, the site of an explosion on Sept. 7. The Times Free Press reports that workers cannot enter the building for cleanup.

The area where the explosion occurred remained unsafe Friday afternoon, and there was no way to remove the chemicals safely, said Shawn Fairbanks, director of Bradley County Fire & Rescue.

Bradley County Emergency Management Agency Director Troy Spence says small doses of the chemicals in the room escape as moisture enters the open pipes.
us_TN  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrochloric_acid 
4 days ago
Man burned by chemical beer at McCormick & Schmick's gets $750K
ATLANTIC CITY — A New Jersey man whose esophagus and stomach were severely burned after drinking a beer tainted by a caustic chemical at an Atlantic City casino restaurant has been awarded $750,000.

Paul D'Amato, the lawyer for Richard Washart, told The Associated Press the jury awarded the plaintiff $650,000 Friday for pain and suffering, and $100,000 for emotional distress.

The Seaville  man sued the McCormick & Schmick's restaurant, which is located at the Harrah's casino, claiming he was served beer tainted by a caustic agent used to clean beer tap lines. Harrah's was not a defendant in the suit.
us_NJ  public  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Chemicals blow a hole in the roof of a Lakeland business
LAKELAND — Three people were injured Friday afternoon in a chemical explosion that tore a gaping hole through the roof of an industrial warehouse adjacent to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.
Three employees of Taste Advantage, which manufactures flavor ingredients from a warehouse facility that’s part of Ruthven Business Park II on Drane Field Road, received minor chemical burns and other employees were treated on site for chemical exposure, said Sgt. Gary Gross of the Lakeland Police Department.
“They’re going to be fine, the injuries were not critical,” he said.
Two people were treated at Tampa General Hospital and one was treated at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center after the explosion that happened about 3:47 p.m.
The explosion was sparked by workers using the chemicals tolulene and sodium hypochlorite to clean kettles containing flavoring agents, said Lakeland Police spokeswoman Robin Tillett.
Exactly what caused the explosive reaction was unknown as of late Friday afternoon, she said.
According to Gross, the explosion triggered a small fire that was quickly doused by an overhead fire suppression system. There was no threat to the public from the chemical reaction that caused the explosion, he said.
us_FL  industrial  explosion  injury  cleaners 
5 days ago
Suspects face endangerment, drug charges in early-morning fire Wednesday in Loxley
LOXLEY — Two suspects are in custody facing endangerment and drug charges following an early morning fire at a home in Loxley Wednesday morning.

Volunteers with the Robertsdale Fire Department responded to a call of a structure fire on Shell Court in Loxley at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

“When they arrived, Silverhill firefighters had the fire contained to a bedroom,” said BCSO Maj. Anthony Lowery.

Officials from Robertsdale called for assistance from the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force after they found what they believed were the makings of a “shake and bake” meth lab at the scene of a structure fire.

Four people, including two children under the age of 10 and two adults who were not involved in the incident, were reportedly home at the time of the explosion, according to reports. There were no serious injuries reported.
us_AL  public  explosion  injury  clandestine_lab 
5 days ago
Hay Bale Fires
Morton County emergency managers are warning farmers and ranchers about what they say is an alarming number of hay bales that have spontaneously combusted and caught fire.

Just this month about 300 hay bales burned near St. Anthony, another 100 near New Salem and about 10 burned just west of Mandan. The emergency management office says when hay is put into a stack or barn and has more than about 22 percent moisture, it has an increased risk of spontaneous combustion. High moisture hay stacks can have chemical reactions that build heat.

Mandan Rural Fire Department Chief Lynn Gustin says hay bales should be left in the field as long as possible and moisture content and temperature should be checked before stacking.
us_ND  public  fire  environmental 
5 days ago
Fire alarm causes evacuation of CSU lab
Update, Sept. 14: A Poudre Fire Authority investigator was unable to determine the cause of the fire. A sprinkler system in the building served to control the fire until firefighters could extinguish it.

Original story: Fire crews donned oxygen masks and protective gear as they entered a Colorado State University laboratory after a fire alarm forced the evacuation of the foothills campus building around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Crews from Poudre Fire Authority, UCHealth and the CSU Police Department responded to the alarm at the Advanced Beam Laboratory.

PFA spokesman Chris Wolf said there was a small fire in a piece of equipment, and a fire investigator will work to determine cause, a process he said could last until later this week.
us_co  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Chemical safety post-Trump?
Things are changing in the US with talk of 30 % cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). What does that mean for chemicals and the US-Europe cooperation? We met with Jim Jones, the former Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety at the US EPA, to discuss the political changes in the US, the reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the future for chemical safety.

The TSCA reform in summer 2016 – its first for nearly 40 years – was supported by both the Republicans and Democrats. The new law says that the government is obliged to examine chemicals in priority order according to strict deadlines and clear safety standards. This makes the law stronger and more efficient than the previous version. “If the basic principles of the law are not met, the government can and will be challenged in court. If it hasn’t taken care of its duties as the law states, it will lose, because the deadlines are really quite clear,” Mr Jones explains.

But a lot has happened in US politics and leadership since the new law was passed. According to Mr Jones, the changes are likely to have an impact on its implementation. “If you listen to the rhetoric of the Trump administration, they are not interested in regulating. But under TSCA, you are required to regulate if you find a chemical that doesn’t meet the safety standards. So, it will be interesting to see how they manage that reality when their aspirations run counter to what is required by law”.
Europe  discovery  enviromental 
7 days ago
Fire investigators still searching for what caused chemical fire at Lee’s Summit plant
LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Investigators are trying to determine what caused a chemical fire at a plant here Wednesday.

Witnesses reported the fire at C.K. Enterprises on Southwest Jefferson Street just after 8 a.m.

Workers at the plant may have been transferring a flammable liquid from an outside storage tank when the fire started.

Flames quickly consumed that tank, sending thick, black smoke up into the sky that could be seen for miles around.

The owner of the plant, Charlie Kunkel, did not want to appear on camera but told FOX 4 that about 60 workers all escaped the building safely by the time firefighters arrived.

Kunkel says one worker did suffer burns to his arm. Paramedics took him to the hospital for treatment.

Firefighters say anytime you're dealing with chemicals, they must take some extra precautions.
us_mo  industrial  fire  follow-up 
7 days ago
Coal mine explosion kills nine workers in northern China: Xinhua
BEIJING (Reuters) - An explosion late on Wednesday at a small coal mine in China’s northern province of Heilongjiang killed nine workers, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Thursday.

The incident occurred at the Yuchen coal mine, which has 60,000 tonnes of annual production capacity, located in the city of Jixi.

The latest accident follows an announcement by China’s State Council on Aug. 31 to launch a new round of safety checks at coal mines and chemical plants starting in September after injuries during an incident at a state-owned coal mine in August.

China’s coal output in August fell to a 10-month low, data from the National Statistics Bureau showed on Thursday, suggesting mines have reduced production in the wake of major accidents.
china  industrial  explosion  deaths 
7 days ago
Clearwater Paper Building Following Chemical Alarm
LEWISTON, ID - UPDATED story: Approximately 400 Clearwater Paper employees and contractors were evacuated this morning after a chemical alarm sounded. The company's Matt Van Vleet says the incident happened at about 8:50 a.m in the paperboard building.

"The evacuation was done very well, the employees got to their areas, the head counts were done, and most importantly nobody was injured," Van Vleet says, adding that safety was their #1 priority.

Van Vleet says there was no explosion. An investigation found that a valve for two chemicals was opened and they combined, creating a reaction. He identified the agents as ammonia and sodium hypochlorite. The latter is a chlorine compound and is the main ingredient in bleach.

"In the paperboard making process, we use two anti-bacterial agents to basically keep the paperboard clean - bacteria-free - and that's applied on the machines as we make the paperboard. During the shutdown, we were doing maintenance on the digital control system that meters those two agents," Van Vleet says. "When they were working on the device, a valve was opened and too much of the agents combined and created a reaction."
us_id  industrial  release  response  chlorine 
7 days ago
Hazmat crews called to Annaville area for possible chemical rele
Emergency crews were called to the area of Sedwick Road and Stillwell Lane, near Clarkwood Road in Annaville, after a worker in the area was hospitalized due to a possible chemical release.

Hazmat crews were called to the area to investigate and confirmed readings of H2S (hydrogen sulfide).

"At this this time there is absolutely no hazard to the public from this release and we are just advising the public to stay clear of this Clarkwood and Sedwick area for the time being," an official with CCPD on the scene said.

It is unclear what kind of symptoms the man who was hospitalized had. His condition is currently unknown.
us_TX  public  release  injury  hydrogen_sulfide 
8 days ago
Photos: MN Firefighter Contain Chlorine Leak
A state hazmat team was requested to help Red Wing firefighters mitigate an incident involving a chlorine leak on Sept. 11

The Red Wing Fire Department was called out to the Prairie Island water treatment facility for a chlorine leak.

Firefighters worked with Prairie Island police to evacuate the area and assess the scene. The statewide Chemical Assessment Team was requested and St. Paul Fire Department resources were deployed. 

Responders were able to stop the leak and ventilate the building before placing the incident under control.
us_MN  industrial  release  response  chlorine  water_treatment 
8 days ago
Harvey's flooding blamed in major gasoline spill in Texas
Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters triggered a spill of almost a half-million gallons of gasoline from two storage tanks along the Houston Ship Channel, marking the largest spill reported to date from a storm that slammed into the heart of Texas' huge petrochemical industry.
The spill measured 10,988 barrels, or more than 461,000 gallons, and occurred at a petroleum tank farm in Galena Park operated by Magellan Midstream Partners, according to the Oklahoma-based company and accident reports submitted to federal officials.
Some of the spilled fuel flowed into a waterway adjacent to the ship channel, a heavily-industrialized area that's lined with dozens of petrochemical facilities, the reports said.
Gasoline is more volatile than oil, meaning it evaporates more quickly after it's spilled. But it's also more likely to catch fire and can more rapidly penetrate the soil and potentially contaminate groundwater supplies.
Magellan spokesman Bruce Heine said the gasoline that reached the small, unnamed waterway had been contained. The spilled fuel was sprayed with foam to prevent it from releasing harmful vapors, he said.
"Federal and state regulators have been on-site during the recovery and clean-up procedures," Heine said. "Clean-up activities at the facility are continuing and we are currently removing and replacing affected soil."
us_TX  transportation  release  response  gasoline  petroleum 
8 days ago
Lawmakers Clash Over Chemical Risk Database
A database used to evaluate the risk of certain chemicals has become a flashpoint of debate among lawmakers. 

Called the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), the EPA-led effort provides an encyclopedia-like guide to state agencies on toxic hazards to help them assess the impact of a chemical accident or spill.

In his budget, President Trump proposed eliminating funding for the program all together. But a House appropriations bill this summer instead cut some funding but kept the program above water.

Now Democrats and Republicans have continued to butt heads over whether or not the program is running smoothly — and what its future should be.

At a Sept. 6 hearing before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Republicans criticized the EPA for not making changes that were proposed in 2014.  
public  discovery  environmental 
8 days ago
Wacker chemical plant sees third incident in two weeks
Alarms went off for the third time in two weeks at the Wacker Chemical Plant in Charleston, Tenn., on Tuesday, causing employees to again take shelter onsite.

A release from the company stated workers detected "a slight elevation of residual chemicals stemming from the September 7 incident."

"According to emergency protocol and precautionary measures, Wacker issued an onsite shelter in place, which has been lifted. There was no risk to the community or employees," the statement read.

"Safety is our top priority along with the care and well-being of our employees and our community. Our commitment to safety remains our primary focus."

A separate release from Bradley County Schools stated alarms were set off while work was being done on "damaged pipes with chemical residue."
us_TN  industrial  release  response  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
One person overcome by fumes at NW Grand Rapids chemical plant
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - One person was overcome by fumes in a minor incident at a Grand Rapids chemical manufacturer.

The incident was reported at Haviland Enterprises at 421 Ann Street NW at about 1:30 p.m.   The company makes chemicals for swimming pools and other needs.

Grand Rapids Fire Battalion Chief Bruce Veldkamp tells FOX 17 that there was a small release of ammonia hydroxide while crews were unloading a truck at the plant.  The release happened inside the building and there were no safety concerns to the neighborhood.  One employee was taken to the hospital for observation.

About 30 employees were evacuated from the plant as a precaution.  Veldkamp says all safety procedures were followed, everyone was accounted for and the neighborhood was not in any danger.
us_MI  industrial  release  injury  ammonia 
8 days ago
Hazmat incident at Yale said to be under control
NEW HAVEN — A hazmat incident at Yale University has been brought under control.

The New Haven Fire Chief tweeted the incident involving chemicals was under control shortly after 5 p. m.

The chemical accident occurred at the Yale University Chemical Research Building, located on 275 Prospect St. Officials said a  27-year-old student was working in one of the labs and handling different chemical mixtures, including a nitric acid mixture..

The student picked up a bottle he thought was empty, however it was not, according to officials. This bottle had traces of a lab substance containing a volatile chemical mixture – the bottle itself was also overpressured. Due to the pressure build-up, the bottle broke and splattered all over the student. Small specks were sent flying everywhere. Minor traces went all over the room, so DEEP was called in to assist.

The spill itself is still considered minor, but because it got onto the victim’s outer clothing he was transported to a hospital. The student is doing fine, they suffered no life-threatening injuries.The building was built back in 1954, but has been modernized for safety (specifically for dealing with these types of incidents).
us_CT  laboratory  release  injury  nitric_acid 
9 days ago
NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida
A total of 20 people were sent to three different hospitals after waking up vomiting in Bonita Springs.

Multiple units responded to a home on Red Bud Lane off of Imperial Parkway – just south of Bonita Beach Road – Tuesday morning.

We were told this was a hazardous materials situation and found out that they were staying in the home during the storm and using a generator that was inside the home.

Family members say one of the cousins said he felt numb while others complained of headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

After authorities arrived and investigated, there is no longer any carbon monoxide in the house.

Those 20 people include 13 children and seven adults. At least two of the children were infants while the oldest child was 15 years old. They were sent to Golisano Children's Hospital, North Collier Hospital, and Gulf Coast Medical Center.
us_FL  public  release  injury  carbon_monoxide 
9 days ago
EPA opens inquiry into Arkema chemical plant explosion after Harvey flooding
The Environmental Protection Agency has opened an inquiry into whether the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas followed federal safety rules to protect against hazards, following explosions at the facility that resulted from Hurricane Harvey flooding.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told the Washington Examiner on Monday he authorized a request for information to Arkema under Section 114 of the Clean Air Act about whether the company complied with a risk management plan filed with the federal government.

Depending on the information obtained by the EPA, the agency can issue administrative, civil or criminal action against Arkema, a multinational company based in France.

"I issued something called a 114 letter, which was a communication to Arkema to say you need to advise and inform me about your risk management plan [RMP] and whether you followed the specifics of the RMP and were you adequately prepared," Pruitt told the Washington Examiner in an interview. "There is some question about whether the RMP that was in place there was actually complied with."

The EPA, in a letter issued Sept. 7 and obtained by Washington Examiner, has ordered Arkema to respond within 10 days to questions about the handling of chemicals known as organic peroxides, which are combustible if not kept refrigerated. The EPA also wants to know the amount of chemical materials kept at the plant, and the measures taken in advance to guard against flooding and loss of electricity.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  response  peroxide 
9 days ago
One dies, 5 hurt as boiler explodes at chemical plant
Nellore: A worker was killed and five others received severe injuries after a boiler exploded at a chemical factory at Meganuru near Gudur on Monday morning. The deceased was identified as Avinash of the village. The villagers expressed anger over the factory management for setting up the plant without displaying any name and details of operations and were shocked with the explosion which triggered panic among them. 

The five injured workers were rushed to a nearby private hospital soon after they were rescued from the spot after the explosion. In fact, the local people blamed the management that it had announced earlier that they would be setting up an ayurvedic pharmaceutical company but now they find carcasses of animals with quite unhygienic conditions prevailing at the plant which turned out to be a bone milling unit. 

There is bad odour emanating from the plant frequently, they complained. Recently, some villagers of Meganuru lodged a complaint with local tahsildar asking how an ayurvedic pharma company has been maintaining unsanitary conditions and raised doubts over its operations.
India  industrial  explosion  death  drugs  pharmaceutical 
9 days ago
First responders sue Arkema
One week after the first of nine trailers containing organic peroxides caught fire at an Arkema facility in Crosby, Texas, seven first responders have filed a lawsuit against the chemical company.
The Sept. 7 suit alleges that Arkema was negligent in failing to properly prepare for a power outage, which created dangerous conditions for storing flammable organic peroxides. Lack of refrigeration at the site, which was inundated with nearly 2 meters of water from Tropical Storm Harvey, caused the chemicals to degrade and explode. The suit alleges the first responders were exposed to unspecified “toxic fumes” early on Thursday, Aug. 31.
According to the Houston Chronicle, 15 Harris County deputies and eight emergency medical services personnel were hospitalized due to exposure to fumes. One of the plaintiffs in the case, Christy Graves, is the director of Harris County Emergency Services District 5, based in Crosby.
The first responders were guarding a 2.4 km perimeter around the Crosby site by taking up a position on a nearby road to prevent traffic from entering an evacuation zone set up by local safety officials, according to Kimberley M. Spurlock, the attorney representing the seven responders.
At roughly 2 AM, Spurlock tells C&EN, the responders became overwhelmed by fumes. They used emergency radios to ask about the status of the chemical plant but were told that no incident was reported. According to the suit, “one by one, the police officers and first responders began to fall ill in the middle of the road.” Medical personnel who responded to the scene, the suit continues, also became overwhelmed and began to vomit and gasp for air.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  injury  flammables  peroxide 
9 days ago
Tannery chemicals are 540 times above EPA level in Belmont well
BELMONT, MI -- Residential drinking water testing next to an old Wolverine World Wide tannery dump site has found hazardous chemical levels on one property that are 540 times the federal health advisory level at which chronic exposure is considered unsafe.

Well sampling records show a home on the 1800 block of House Street NE in Plainfield Township tested at 37,800 parts-per-trillion (ppt) combined for perfluoroctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA) -- a pair of industrial chemicals that are polluting the groundwater near the old tannery dump in Belmont.

The property, directly across the street from the dump site, was first tested July 18 and retested on Aug. 16 to double check the extremely high pollution result.
us_MI  industrial  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
9 days ago
Court order stops chemical discharge into Cape Fear River
Chemours has agreed to stop dumping certain chemicals into the Cape Fear River, state officials said Monday.

The company entered into a partial consent order with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality on Friday. The order, signed by Bladen County Resident Superior Court Judge Douglas B. Sasser, says Chemours will immediately prevent the discharge of certain “PFESA compounds” until a permit authorizing the discharge is issued.

The state refers to the substances as “Nafion byproducts 1 and 2,” according to Jamie Kritzer, a state Department of Environmental Quality spokesman.

Gary Cambre, a Chemours spokesman, has said Nafion is a brand name for the company’s membrane products. The compounds are byproducts of the Ion Exchange Materials production unit at the plant, he said.

Nafion products are used in energy storage, fuel cells, chemical production, waste recovery and other applications, according to the Chemours website.

Chemours officials did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment about the order.

State officials were seeking a halt to the discharge of the compounds as part of an investigation into Chemours release of GenX into the river. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Health and Human Services began the investigation in June, when news broke that researchers had found GenX in the river below the company’s Bladen County plant last year.
us_NC  industrial  release  response  waste 
9 days ago
Feds working on dozens of chemical spills in Texas — RT America
The US Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency are assisting Texas state regulators in cleaning dozens of toxic spills from the vast network of petrochemical plants and refineries in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
EPA spokeswoman Terri White said it was not possible to provide an estimate for the amount of chemicals spilled.

“Initial reports were based on observation,” White said, according to Reuters. “Some spills were already being cleaned up by the time EPA or other officials arrived to assess them and other had already migrated offsite.”

However, the Coast Guard’s National Response Center tracks reports of oil spills and other chemical releases, which can be filed by corporations or the public.
us_TX  industrial  release  response  oils 
9 days ago
IFFCO To Stop Investment in Chemical Fertilisers, Need to Bring Balance in Environment, Says MD Uday Shanker Awasthi
New Delhi, September 10: Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) Managing Director Uday Shanker Awasthi on Monday said the company will no longer invest in manufacturing of chemical fertilisers, due to its hazardous impact on the environment. Awasthi said people are still are unaware of the bad impact of fertilisers on soil and it adversely affects the environment.

Awasthi conceded agriculture cannot be made free from chemical fertilisers.
The investment on bio-fertilisers will be also increased.
India needs to learn from the experiments in China and the USA.
Addressing a meet of senior journalists in New Delhi, the IFFCO MD announced that the cooperative will “not even invest a rupee on chemical fertilisers”. Instead, the investment on bio-fertilisers will be also increased. Citing the examples of China and the United States of America, Awasthi said “we need to learn from their experiments”. While China decided to stop investment in the production of chemical fertilisers, the USA has prohibited the use of fertilisers in the farms on the shores of Mississippi river, he noted.
However, Awasthi conceded agriculture cannot be made free from chemical fertilisers. Thus, a balance between biofertilizers and their chemical counterparts need to established, he opined.
India  industrial  discovery  environmental  ag_chems 
10 days ago
Busy Leamington road re-opens following chemical leak
A CHEMICAL leak saw part of a busy Leamington road closed off overnight on Saturday.

Police received a report of a strong chemical smell  in the Tachbrook Road area, following an ammonia leak from a nearby factory,  around 7pm on Saturday.

The immediate area by the Tachbrook Park industrial estate  was cordoned off as a precaution and West Midlands Ambulance Service and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue attended.

No injuries were  reported but local residents were advised to close all windows and doors to minimise any potential exposure.
United_Kingdom  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
10 days ago
Harvey fallout: First responders sue over chemical plant fumes
The action was taken Sunday evening at the Arkema facility at Crosby, Texas, northeast of Houston, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The government issued the evacuation of a 1.5-mile radius around the plant.

Two explosions in the middle of the night blew open a trailer containing the chemicals, lighting up the sky with 30- to 40-foot flames.

The Environmental Protection Agency wants answers from Arkema.

The complaint also states that the plaintiffs relied on Arkema executives' assurances during a press conference that the fumes were not toxic, and suffered as a result.

In all, fifteen sheriff's deputies complained of respiratory irritation.

Texas-sized damage followed Harvey's flood: Hundreds of thousands of homes stinking; a million cars wrecked; more than a million pounds of benzene and other unsafe material escaped from factories and refineries.

Arkema identified hurricanes, flooding and power failures as risks to the site almost a decade ago. "Crosby-Plant/" target="_blank">more fires on the afternoon of September 1, as more chemicals began igniting.

An Arkema spokeswoman Thursday afternoon promised the company would release a statement later in the day. It is unclear whether the plant was up to date on its risk assessment protocol, but the company is known to have been up to date with submitting its risk management plan to the EPA, having filed its most recent one for that facility in 2014. A total of twenty-one emergency responders received treatment at hospitals for smoke inhalation and nausea, local officials have said. It came, instead, by way of the plant's workers, who told the Crosby Volunteer Fire Department about it when they were rescued during the hurricane, she said. Arkema denied the allegations.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  injury  benzene 
10 days ago
Discount and hardware stores to be inspected for banned chemicals
Hardware and discount stores all over the country are to be targeted by inspectors to ensure their products don't contain any banned chemicals and are safe to the public.
Chemicals such as cadmium, nickel and lead are banned in jewellery, while benzene, chloroform and toluene are banned in glues and adhesives.
Inspections will focus on cleaning and laundry products; air fresheners and reed diffusers; paint products such as thinners; jewellery; and glues.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) today launched the nationwide inspection campaign to see if products comply with the relevant EU chemical legislation, which is designed to improve chemical safety.
The packaging of products will also be checked to ensure child-resistant fastenings and tactile warnings of danger are included where required.

"We will focus our inspections on discount stores and hardware stores. Specifically, we will be checking the labelling information and also packaging to ensure that products which are required to have child-resistant fastenings are compliant. We will also be checking jewellery and glues for the presence of banned substances," said Kevin Buckley, senior inspector with the HSA.
Ireland  public  discovery  environmental  adhesives  cleaners  illegal 
10 days ago
Texas flood shows need for chemical safety rule, advocates say
Industrial safety advocates and Texas residents say a flood-related fires and explosions at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, underscores the need for a worker and community safety regulation.
Issued by the Obama Administration in January and blocked by the Trump Environmental Protection Agency in March, that regulation would require chemical safety improvements at industrial plants.
If fully implemented, the new regulation would require greater public disclosure from companies that use large amounts of certain chemicals, notes Yvette Arellano, spokesperson with TEJAS, the Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, a community-based nonprofit. The rule would also call for firms to conduct root-cause analysis after an accident, she adds.
When it postponed the regulation, EPA reopened discussions of what the final rule should require. This reexamination won’t be complete until February 2019, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said.
Pruitt attributed the delay to opposition to the rule from companies. Among them is Arkema, which filed comments against the regulation. Several states, labor unions, and community groups are challenging EPA’s move in court. Chemical companies and some other states, on the other hand, are backing Pruitt.
Advocates say the rule, if implemented, would have a made a difference when Tropical Storm Harvey brought heavy rains that flooded the Crosby plant and killed backup electricity generators used to maintain refrigeration of some 225 metric tons of organic peroxides at the facility. The reactive peroxides decompose with heat, and at Arkema, they began to burn. Government officials arranged for the remaining stock of these chemicals to be set on fire.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  peroxide 
10 days ago
Trees with a probiotic boost clean up a carcinogen
Planting poplar trees that harbor a secret weapon—pollutant-busting microbes—could help clean up sites contaminated with the carcinogen trichloroethylene, a new study shows (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01504). In the first field trial of this approach at a Superfund hazardous waste site, poplar trees boosted by bacteria within their tissues brought groundwater concentrations of TCE to below the maximum contaminant level for drinking water set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
TCE is used as a solvent and degreaser in industrial processes, and was recently declared a human carcinogen. It contaminates the soil or water of more than 1,000 Superfund sites around the U.S. Current methods to remove it from groundwater include sorbing it onto activated carbon or driving the pollutant out of water with a stream of air. But these methods are so expensive, says Sharon L. Doty of the University of Washington, that many site managers choose to monitor and isolate polluted areas instead of cleaning them up. Now she and her colleagues have developed a much cheaper approach.
Using plants to soak up pollutants—a method called phytoremediation—can remove a variety of contaminants from soil and groundwater. Introducing symbiotic, pollutant-destroying bacteria to the plants has shown even more promise in lab tests, because carrying the bacteria seems to help plants stay healthier during the process and remove more pollutants. But so far, this probiotic approach has had mixed results in the field, sometimes because the introduced bacteria are outcompeted by naturally present soil microbes.
us_WA  laboratory  discovery  environmental  solvent  waste 
10 days ago
U.S. EPA’s chlorpyrifos decision spurs pushback
On a summer evening in 2012, Bonnie Wirtz and her family hurried inside and shut all the windows in their rural Minnesota house when they heard the roar of a plane spraying pesticides on a neighboring farm.
Moments later, the plane flew over their house. “It sounded so close we thought it was going to crash,” Wirtz says. Within seconds, their house began to fill with a white mist coming in around the air-conditioning unit.
“I stumbled out coughing and I was having trouble breathing,” Wirtz recalls. Her husband rushed her and their eight-month-old son to the emergency room.
Tests revealed that she had been exposed to chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic insecticide that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed twice to ban on food under the Obama Administration. The agency has since decided to allow its use to continue for at least five years.
In 2013, Wirtz collected air samples using a technique called drift catching to estimate the levels of chlorpyrifos that she and her family were likely exposed to. “When the results came in, we were devastated,” she says. The estimated exposure levels were four times as high as the EPA-recommended safe limit for a one-year-old child.
Chlorpyrifos has been associated with developmental delays and other health problems in children. “Up until this point, our son had met all of his developmental milestones,” Wirtz says. By the age of two and a half, his speech had regressed. He has since been diagnosed with a developmental disorder, which Wirtz is convinced is related to his exposure to the insecticide.
us_MN  public  follow-up  environmental  pesticides 
10 days ago
Tank failures in Harvey reveal vulnerabilities in storm
More than two dozen storage tanks holding crude oil, gasoline and other contaminants ruptured or otherwise failed when Harvey slammed into the Texas coast, spilling at least 145,000 gallons (548,868 liters) of fuel and spewing toxic pollutants into the air, according to an Associated Press analysis of pollution reports submitted to state and federal regulators.
The tank failures follow years of warnings that the Houston area's petrochemical industry was ill-prepared for a major storm, with about one-third of the 4,500 storage tanks along the Houston Ship Channel located in areas susceptible to flooding, according to researchers.
More of the massive storage tanks could be put to the test in coming days as Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida. The tanks are prone to float and break during floods, and Harvey's unprecedented rainfalls revealed a new vulnerability when the roofs of some storage tanks sank under the weight of so much water.
Federal and state rules require companies to be prepared for spills, but mandate no specific measures to secure storage tanks at refineries, chemical plants and oil production sites.
Although Florida has no oil refineries, it has more than 20 petroleum product storage terminals in coastal communities and about 30 chemical companies with a presence in the state, including a significant number of facilities in the Tampa Bay area, according to the American Chemistry Council and U.S. Energy Information Administration.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  gasoline  petroleum 
11 days ago
Fire chief urges caution with chemicals after Oshawa restaurant employee burned
OSHAWA — Oshawa’s fire chief is reminding residents to be cautious with cleaners, after a restaurant employee was burned by chemicals Friday night.

Emergency crews were called to the Family Wok restaurant on Simcoe Street North in downtown Oshawa at about 11 p.m. on Sept. 8, for reports of a “chemical situation.”

Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark says a cleaning product being used to clean a sink reacted with the water and vapourized.

One employee was taken to hospital with burns.

Clark says it is important to carefully read labels and follow directions when working with chemical cleaners.
Canada  public  release  injury  cleaners 
11 days ago
Tachbrook Road closed after suspected chemical leak
Police have cordoned off a section of Tachbrook Road after a receiving a report of a strong chemical smell at around 7pm this evening, Saturday September 9 .
Although the incident is not being treated as suspicious, the Tachbrook Road/Heathcote Lane crossroads area has been cordoned off as a precaution.

West Midlands Ambulance Service and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue are in attendance.

No injuries have been reported but residents are being advised to close all windows and doors to minimise any potential exposure to the possible chemical - suspected to be ammonia.

Disruption is likely to continue until tomorrow (September 10) while the incident is dealt with.

People living in the vicinity are being allowed to return to their homes and there are currently no plans to evacuate residents.
United_Kingdom  public  release  response  ammonia 
11 days ago
Sohn: Wacker owes community respect, safety and honesty
In April 2016, a Times Free Press front page story and pictures showed Wacker polysilicon chemical officials and Tennessee politicians cutting a thick red ribbon at the $2.5 billion plant's opening. Wacker officials even announced that they would soon start work to build a second plant adjacent to the new Charleston, Tenn., facility just 45 miles northeast of Chattanooga.

On Friday, almost a year and a half later, Wacker was again on our front page — this time with a white vapor plume rising from the plant beside a headline reading "Wacker blast spews gas; Plant sustains second incident within 8 days."

An explosion at the plant involved a chemical called chlorosilane and released hydrochloric acid. Hazardous materials emergency responders closed down nearby roads and Interstate 75, forced nearby residents and school students within a 1.5-mile radius to "shelter in place" with closed windows and switched off heat and air conditioning units.

Area 911 dispatchers reported that people called experiencing skin burning sensations and difficulty breathing, and eight people went to hospitals with symptoms related to the incident.

In a news release, Wacker officials made light of the blast and the long-lasting plume. They termed the day's event as a "mechanical incident [that] resulted in a hydrogen chemical release. "The statement claimed that the cloud appeared to be steam, and that air quality being tested by Wacker was at a safe level. There was no danger to the public, they said.

Steam, by the way, is mostly invisible and certainly not long-lasting.

On video, Wacker Vice President and site manager Mary-Beth Hudson said she did not know why people had to be treated for irritation despite officials saying there was no threat to safety.

"I don't know that we can speculate why they went to the hospital," she said.

But Troy Spence, director of the Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, in that same video, said, "We do know that the vapor was HCl."

HCl is the chemical formula of hydrogen chloride and hydrochloric acid. At room temperature, hydrogen chloride is a colorless to slightly yellow, corrosive, nonflammable gas that is heavier than air and has a strong irritating odor. On exposure to air, hydrogen chloride forms dense white corrosive vapors, and inhalation of the fumes can cause coughing, choking, inflammation of the nose, throat, and upper respiratory tract, and in severe cases, pulmonary edema, circulatory system failure, and death, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
us_TN  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrochloric_acid 
11 days ago
Arkema.com – Safety summaries
Arkema participates in the global product strategy program of the international council of chemical associations (ICCA). This commitment underlines its desire to inform the public about its products in a fully transparent manner.
As a signatory to the Responsible Care® global charter of the international council of chemical associations (ICCA), the Arkema group also participates in the Global Product Strategy (GPS) program of this organization. The aim of this initiative is to strengthen the public’s trust in the chemical industry.

Safety data released to the public
The Group has demonstrated it commitment by producing GPS/Safety Summaries – data sheets on product safety. These documents are available to the general public on its web site (see below) as well as on the ICCA web site.

What exactly is GPS?
The aim of the GPS program is to provide a reasonable amount of information at a global level about chemical product hazards and risks, and to then inform the general public about them. Due to the globalization of markets, this has led to the harmonization of systems to manage chemical products and to ensure consistency with national and regional regulations.
Europe has a structured regulation in REACH, which requires the submission of detailed dossiers to be able to manufacture, import or sell chemical products on the european market. The GPS program makes it possible to re-use these data in order to create the safety summaries. The Arkema Group has made a commitment to publish a safety summary within one year of the REACH registration of the chemical substance.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
12 days ago
China To Force All Chemical Plants Out Of Urban Areas By 2020, Cabinet Says
All of the chemical plants currently located in urban areas in China will be forced to relocate by the year 2020, according to a statement released by the country’s cabinet following an explosion at a refinery in the city of Dalian.

Well, that’s mostly the case anyway — “large” chemical plants will apparently have until 2025 to relocate out of urban areas, according to the statement.

Reuters provides some further information: “A fire at PetroChina’s Dalian refinery, one of its largest, has raised worries about safety and pollution from the refining sector. Chemical companies that are not able to relocate will be shut, the cabinet said. In addition, the cabinet will give a tax rebate and subsidy to companies that need to be moved.”
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
12 days ago
What exactly was the chemical in the air after Wacker explosion Thursday?
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Alex Haws wasn't in school Friday because of the explosion at Wacker, but he was working hard on an extra-curricular project after he witnessed the catastrophe.
"I heard a real loud bang boom. I don't know it was a big old thud, and the school shook," he said.

Soon after he saw steam puff up into the sky. Friday afternoon, Wacker clarified that the chemical released is called trichlorosilane. Wacker officials says when trichlorosilane mixes with moisture in the air, it makes another compound called HCl. That's what they were worried about people breathing in.
Professor Bradley Harris his chemical engineering class is very familiar with HCl.
"As an inhalant, something that's in the air, it's mostly just going to be an irritant," Harris said. "It's going to make you feel uncomfortable. It's going to bother your mouth, your esophagus, your lungs-- make you cough."
That's why Haws created this petition online that now has more than 500 signatures.
"Gas masks should be provided for each student teacher and faculty," he said.
Haws didn't experience symptoms after the explosion Thursday, but wants to know he'll be safe in the future. Even if the school can't afford masks, he says he wants a safety discussion to happen.
us_TN  education  follow-up  response  HCl 
12 days ago
Explosion at Wacker Chemical Plant rocks community
BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. — White smoke filled the sky in Charleston Thursday afternoon.
Construction worker Gary Pirkle describes to us what he heard before he saw that smoke.
"I went to get me a small breather of a break and I was looking just toward the Wacker plant and, all of sudden, I heard something that sounded like a giant bomb go off," Pirkle said.
Wacker officials tell us that noise was an explosion.
Just down the street from the plant, Malibu Boats owner Shannnon McPhail showed us surveillance video.
In the video, you can see the camera shake the moment the explosion happened.
us_TN  industrial  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Abandoned beaker causes Southington chemical lab to fill with smoke
SOUTHINGTON — Southington firefighters ventilated the United States Chemical Corp. building Friday night after a beaker left on a lit burner caused the laboratory to fill with smoke.

Firefighters responded to a smoke alarm sounding at the business located at 609 Old Turnpike Road just before 8 p.m., according to Battalion Chief Jimmy Paul. The company’s employees had already left for the day and firefighters needed a key holder to access the building. Upon entry, firefighters found the entire lab area of the building filled with smoke.

“It was some type of detergent in a beaker on a burner they accidentally left on,” Paul said.

No one was treated for smoke inhalation, as the building was empty at the time. Firefighters ventilated the building and cleared the scene after about an hour.
us_CT  laboratory  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Tennessee Plant Had $10k in Safety Fines Before Explosion
CHARLESTON, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee chemical plant where an explosion occurred was previously fined almost $10,000 for three workplace safety violations since opening last year.

Records show the Wacker Polysilicon plant in Charleston was fined $3,500 in April 2016 by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration over control of hazardous energy.

In August 2016, a $6,450 fine was issued over process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals and respiratory protection.

Authorities said Wacker's hydrogen chloride release Thursday briefly closed a busy interstate section and spurred shelter-in-place orders.

Bradley County schools were closed Friday.

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office said eight people went to the hospital for related symptoms. Wacker said one employee was in the hospital for observation.
us_TN  industrial  follow-up  injury  HCl 
12 days ago
EPA chief defends chemical rule delay after Texas plant explosions
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt on Friday defended his decision to delay a major chemical plant safety regulation.

The EPA has faced criticism on the decision following multiple explosions last week at Arkema Inc.’s plant in Crosby, Texas, which flooded from Hurricane Harvey.

The Risk Management Plan rule, written under the Obama administration and delayed by Pruitt, would not likely have prevented the incident, but it may have helped first responders to avoid injuring themselves by inhaling noxious fumes.

Pruitt said he had good reasons to delay the regulation, arguing the new standards for risk management plans would have helped terrorists find out what substances are at plants.

“These chemical plants are terrorist opportunities as well. They present soft targets to terrorists who come in and do something pretty bad in those communities,” Pruitt said on ABC News’s Power House Politics podcast.

“And so what you’ve got to do is strike the balance in what’s in that RMP, so that you’re not informing terrorists and helping them have data that they shouldn’t have.”

The EPA chief said he supports requiring risk management plans, and his intent in delaying and revising the rule is not to abolish that mandate.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
12 days ago
EPA completes testing of water, air after Arkema plant fire
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed its response support to the Crosby Volunteer Fire Department and the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office for the catastrophic event at Arkema. The EPA and the TCEQ provided direct support to incident commander Michael Sims of the Crosby Volunteer Fire Department and Chief Bob Royall of the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, who are leading a coordinated local, state, and federal effort as part of the Unified Command to control the fire at the Arkema facility in Crosby.

"As a result of initial chemical fires while the facility was flooded, EPA has collected downstream surface water runoff samples at four locations outside the evacuation zone, near residential areas.

"Six surface water runoff samples were collected on Friday, September 1, 2017 in the vicinity of the Arkema plant in Crosby, Texas. Surface water runoff results were less than the screening levels that would warrant further investigation. Each flood water sample was analyzed for volatile organic chemicals and semi-volatile organic chemicals likely to come from the Arkema plant. No volatile organic chemicals or semi-volatile organic chemicals were detected in the surface water runoff samples. Non-quantifiable and compounds not definitively identified are not reported. It is important to note that chemical analysis alone cannot be used as an indication of water safety. In a flood situation, there are multiple risk factors that can cause harm, industrial chemicals are only one of those risk factors.  A copy of the data reports are attached.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  runoff 
12 days ago
Small fire damages MBL lab
WOODS HOLE — Firefighters were called to a small fire in a Marine Biological Laboratory building Thursday morning.

An alarm sounded at the Falmouth fire station at about 9 a.m. Thursday indicating a fire in laboratory’s three-story Marine Resources Center. The building contains laboratory space, marine life and ongoing experimental work so standard procedures, such as shutting down all gas and electricity to the full building, weren’t an option, said Falmouth Deputy Fire Chief Scott Thrasher.

“Their biggest concern was if we just killed the power to the building that they would lose marine life and experiments,” Thrasher said.

Everyone had left the building by the time firefighters arrived. While searching the resources center, firefighters discovered a small fire on a workbench in one of the second floor labs. Some electrical equipment was on the bench, but the source of the fire is still under investigation.

An automatic sprinkler system directly above the bench kept damage to a minimum and firefighters used a small pump can to finish putting out the fire, Thrasher said.

The fire was contained to the laboratory, he said. Once it was out, the maintenance crew at Marine Biological Laboratory worked with firefighters to ventilate the building.
us_ma  laboratory  fire  response 
13 days ago
Hazmat scare at U.S. Nonwovens sent employee running for exit
LUDLOW, Ky. – Fumes sent frightened employees hurrying out of an industrial plant Thursday, but there was no hazmat leak, a plant official said.

”The building just basically got filled full of smoke and started burning our eyes and stuff,” said Blake Colbin, who just started working at the U.S. Nonwovens plant at 1 Sandbank Road two months ago.

“I left my phone, wallet, everything in there. I got out as quick as possible. Yeah, it was little scary,” Colbin said.

The fumes were created in the making of a drain cleaner, warehouse manager Pete Kohlmorgen said. U.S. Nonwovens is known for making household cleaning products.

Kohlmorgen insisted it was safe.

“The product is not toxic. It’s not combustible. It’s not explosive. There was nothing that leaked onto the ground. Everything is completely, 100 percent contained,” Kohlmorgen said.

A hazmat crew, two fire departments and the Kentucky EPA vouched for the safety inside the building.
us_ky  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
Firefighter responding to Wacker chemical leak hospitalized
CHARLESTON, Tenn. (WATE) — James Bradford of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office says a firefighter responding to the Wacker chemical plant has been taken to a nearby hospital due to “heat exhaustion.” This after a second leak at the plant Thursday evening.

Bradley County EMA says because of a wind shift near the plant, residents living up to 1.5 miles south of Wacker should stay inside until notified otherwise.

As a precaution, residents in the area should not use their AC units.
Crews have closed Lauderdale Memorial Hwy between Hwy 11 and I-75.

Bill Toth, Director of Corporate Communications for Wacker could not answer when asked if there is a danger to the public.

Toth says they are busy “mitigating the incident,” and will release a statement later.

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office released a statement about an explosion at the Wacker chemical plant in Charleston, Tennessee Wednesday afternoon around 4 p.m.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. an alleged explosion was reported tothe 911 Communications Center from residents around Wacker Polysilicon, located inCharleston, TN.Upon arrival, first-responders were able to determine a mechanical failure caused a plume of low-concentrated hydrochloric acid to form a cloud that was visible within a portion within the Charleston area.Students from Walker Valley High School students sheltered in place and CharlestonElementary School students were transported to Ocoee Middle School for pickup by parents. Additionally, residents within the Charleston area were advised to shelter in place and turn off H.V.A.C. systems to minimize exposure.Representatives from Wacker Polysilicon and area first-responders were able to evaluatethe incident in order to communicate the precautionary procedures to ensure the safety ofthe community.Earlier reports advised there were no injuries at the facility; however medical responderswere able to locate one patient at the facility needing medical assistance. At this time weare unable to determine if the patien
us_tn  industrial  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
USCG assessing local chemical facilities ahead of Hurricane Irma landfall
With the active hurricane season, FOX10 News Investigates took a closer look at the possibility of the chemical facilities in our area being impacted by potential hurricanes... and how that could put people's safety at risk.

While it seems Irma may be going to the Florida peninsula, the commander for the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG) Mobile Sector told FOX10 News Investigates his teams have been going around to several chemical facilities from Panama City Beach to Bayou la Batre, to assess their ability to handle a major hurricane, just in case.

After Hurricane Harvey ripped through the Texas coast, huge fires broke out at a chemical plant northeast of Houston, when the facility was forced to shut down operations, and officials said units refrigerating the toxic chemicals were "compromised due to massive flooding."

Fifteen deputies were taken to the hospital for inhaling volatile chemical smoke, and a mandatory evacuation was put in place for all residents living with in a mile and a half of the facility.

Along the Mobile River, there are eight petrochemical storage facilities operating in close proximity to the downtown and Africatown communities.
us_al  industrial  discovery  environmental 
13 days ago
Safety Workers Sickened by Fumes Sue Texas Chemical Plant
Seven emergency workers filed suit on Monday against the French chemical company Arkema, saying they were sickened by fumes from explosions last week at the company’s flood-stricken plant near Houston. They say they were not given ample warning of the dangers from volatile chemicals stored at the plant.

The workers were among those hospitalized after falling ill from the fumes, according to the lawsuit, filed in Harris County District Court. The local responders also claim that Arkema failed to properly secure the chemicals or draw up adequate emergency plans. They are seeking at least $1 million in damages.

The suit describes a chaotic scene at the plant when the first of nine trailers storing a highly flammable compound ignited on Aug. 31.

“Immediately upon being exposed to the fumes from the explosion, and one by one, the police officers and first responders began to fall ill in the middle of the road. Calls from medics were made, but still no one from Arkema warned of the toxic fumes in the air,” the lawsuit claims.

Flooding from Hurricane Harvey knocked out electricity at the plant and also disabled backup systems meant to keep a class of unstable chemicals, called organic peroxides, cool. Workers at the plant moved the chemicals into trailers before abandoning the site under orders from the local authorities. The police ordered people to evacuate a 1.5-mile radius around the plant when Arkema officials warned that explosions were imminent.
us_tx  industrial  release  unknown_chemical  follow-up 
13 days ago
Killeen councilman calls for forum on chemical plant
Riding a wave of resident concern over the planned arrival of an MGC Pure Chemicals America plant in Killeen, Councilman Steve Harris is calling for a community forum for city officials to field questions from the public.

On Aug. 9, the Killeen Economic Development Corporation announced the signing of a performance agreement with the Japanese company for a $30 million plant on 28 acres of land in the Killeen Business Park on Roy J. Smith Drive.

The plant will produce superpure hydrogen peroxide, a cleaning chemical used in the semiconductor industry for applications that require stripping, etching and cleaning silicon wafers, according to a news release.

In an email to City Manager Ron Olson on Monday, Harris said the entire council was not briefed on the incoming plant and wanted to provide the public with information on the project.

“Since the negotiations were performed in secret, even from the majority of the council, I believe this to be an imperative and necessary step in maintaining transparency,” Harris said.
us_tx  industrial  discovery  response 
13 days ago
EPA Last Inspected Flooded Arkema Plant in 2003
It’s been 14 years since EPA inspectors last visited an Arkema Corp. facility in Crosby, Texas, that saw chemical explosions caused by flooding from Hurricane Harvey, a company official told Bloomberg BNA.

Arkema spokesman Stan Howard, and David Gray, a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 6 office in Dallas, both said the plant was last inspected under the agency’s risk management program in 2003. The EPA is more likely to inspect high-risk facilities under the program “where offsite consequences impact a large number of people or they have had an accident,” Gray said in an email Sept. 6.

Arkema’s Crosby facility came under scrutiny after power failures due to an estimated 40 inches of rain at the plant during Harvey caused electricity and multiple backup generators to fail and volatile chemicals to overheat and catch fire.

The lack of inspections at the Crosby plant doesn’t surprise many. According to a Sept. 1 letter Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) sent to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency has “about 30 inspectors” who can complete between 300 and 350 inspections per year of around 12,500 facilities in the program—information the senator’s spokeswoman told Bloomberg BNA came from a telephone briefing with EPA staff last week.
us_tx  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
13 days ago
Government ill-equipped to monitor industrial plants damaged by Hurricane Harvey
More than a dozen Texas chemical and refining plants reported damaged storage tanks, ruptured containment systems and malfunctioning pressure relief valves as a result of Hurricane Harvey, portending safety problems that might not become apparent for months or years, according to a Houston Chronicle review of regulatory filings.

The filings are incomplete and represent only damage that produced excessive air pollution, a fraction of the impact on plants in southeast Texas that provide more than 40 percent of the nation's petrochemical capacity and about 30 percent of its refining.

At Shell's Deer Park refinery, two tanks were damaged and oil ran into a surrounding berm. At BASF's Beaumont pesticide plant, tanks overflowed and leaked unknown chemicals. At the Chevron Phillips Cedar Bayou plant, a cooling pump failed, causing overpressurized chemicals to be burned off in a flare.

When Harvey swept through the Gulf Coast and Houston area, it forced the shutdown of hundreds of industrial facilities across the region. Now, with waters receding, these operations will be coming back on line in the coming weeks, raising the prospect of cancer-causing gas emissions, toxic spills, fires and explosions, said Sam Mannan, director of a center that studies chemical process safety at Texas A&M university.

"Such a large industry coming up at the same time," he said. "All you need to do is have some mistakes pop up somewhere and it will be magnified elsewhere."
us_tx  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
13 days ago
U.S. chemical risk program gets mixed review
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s program for evaluating the human health risks associated with exposure to chemicals in the environment—the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)—is under attack by Republican lawmakers.
At a hearing on Sept. 6, Republican leaders on two subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology criticized EPA for not making changes to IRIS as suggested in 2014 reports by the National Academies’ National Research Council and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Democrats at the hearing, however, praised EPA for significantly improving the IRIS program in a short amount of time. They questioned why no one from EPA, GAO, or the National Academies was invited to testify at the hearing to discuss changes EPA has made in recent years. Several Democrats pointed out that EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt just days before the hearing, commending the agency for improving the IRIS program.
Earlier this year, the Trump Administration initially proposed to zero out funding for IRIS in EPA’s fiscal 2018 appropriations but later sought money for the program. Lawmakers held the hearing to assess whether the program should continue.
us  public  discovery  enviromental 
13 days ago
What made Arkema’s peroxides unstable in Harvey’s aftermath?
Organic peroxides, the chemicals that led to evacuations and explosions at the flooded Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, are well-known for their instability—the characteristic that provides both their chemical utility and their hazardous properties.
Structure of bis(2-ethylhexyl) peroxydicarbonate and tert-butyl 2-ethylhexaneperoxoate.
Two of the peroxides stored at Arkema’s Crosby site were tert-butyl 2-ethylhexaneperoxoate, which has an SADT of 35 °C, and bis(2-ethylhexyl) peroxydicarbonate, which has an SADT of 5 °C for a 75% solution.
Organic peroxides contain the peroxide functional group ROORʹ.The O–O bond is inherently weak; the bond dissociation energy of CH3O–OCH3 is 157.3 kJ/mol compared with 335 kJ/mol for CH3–OCH3.
us_tx  industrial  followup  enviromental  peroxide 
13 days ago
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