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  • Two injured in industrial accident at Edison laboratory
    Edison—A 23-year-old man was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon following a steam blowout at an Edison laboratory, authorities say. A spokesperson for the Edison Fire Department says that the victim was in the process of cleaning a 250 gallon container used to process facial cream when steam escaped from the tank. The victim was struck in the chest, sustaining third-degree burns. The victim—whose name has not yet been released—was transported by helicopter from Bentley Laboratories on Fieldcrest Avenue in Edison to St. Barnabas Medical Center with second and third degree burns on his chest, legs and arms. A second victim was injured attempting to help the first following the accident, says a fire department official. A resident of Perth Amboy, he was transported to Raritan Bay Medical Center and treated for a shoulder injury. A HAZMAT team was dispatched to investigate following the incident, but has found no evidence of chemicals were involved in the accident, say authorities.
  • Chemical reaction causes fire at plant
    A chemical reaction was the suspected cause of a structure fire at the Molded Fiber Glass (MFG) plant just after 8:08 p.m. Monday resulting in $250,000 in damages. The fire appeared to have started in a detached 20 by 20 foot storage building holding chemicals and fiberglass parts just outside the main plant, According to Gainesville Fire and Rescue chief Wally Cox, the chemical reaction generated a lot of heat spreading to the fiberglass parts stored in the general area.” The structure, consisting of a metal roof with open sides, was fully engulfed in flames as the first of three engines and a ladder and rescue truck arrived at 8:13 p.m. “It was a little tricky to put out the fire because of the commodity involved,” Cox said. “There was very limited fire extension in the plant, mostly heavy smoke and some cosmetic damage. No hazardous materials were released.”
  • New formaldehyde report supports EPA's assessment that chemical is 'human carcinogen'
    WASHINGTON -- The ongoing debate about the risks of formaldehyde is intensifying in light of a new report by the National Academy of Sciences that said the Environmental Protection Agency's labeling of the chemical as a "human carcinogen" is supported by research. The report, issued earlier this month, was a reversal from the academy's 2011 study, requested by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., which found EPA's findings went beyond available evidence and "needs substantial revision." The issue generated national attention after elevated levels of formaldehyde in FEMA trailers were linked to a variety of respiratory ailments suffered by people who lived in them after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The 2011 National Academy report concluded that EPA's analysis supports its conclusion that formaldehyde can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, and create lesions in the respiratory tract and that high concentrations can lead to genetic mutations. But it said the EPA failed to support its conclusions that formaldehyde causes other cancers of the respiratory tract or leukemia. The new report found sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in human and animal studies and "convincing relevant information" that formaldehyde induces mechanistic events associated with the development of cancer in humans."  Based on these findings, the committee concluded that EPA can list formaldehyde  as a "human carcinogen."
  • Green food dye shuts down Tachevah in hazmat scare
    Palm Springs police shut down a road out of concern about a hazardous materials spill Wednesday, but it turned out to be green food dye. Tachevah Drive was briefly closed about 12:40 p.m. between Indian Canyon Drive and Via Miraleste, near Desert Regional Medical Center. Bruce Sepielli, director of engineering for the hospital, said they had a leak and put dye in the water to figure out where it was.
  • Hazmat team returned to Bethlehem home
    Bethlehem The State Police returned to 18 Paxwood Drive for the second time this month to retrieve more material left behind by a deceased doctor who collected a variety of medical substances during his decades-long career as an infectious disease specialist. Police and hazardous-material teams were initially called to the home on Aug. 8 when family members came across substances they could not identify as they were cleaning out the home. Specialists in hazmat suits and air tanks removed the material. The home's deceased owner, Dr. John Hotchin, was a medical doctor and researcher who had led the state virus lab from 1957 to 1966. He died Aug. 1. Hotchin had a collection of medical-related chemicals in his home that appeared to have been purchased during overseas trips, according to police. A relative called police again last Friday when the family found a suspicious substance wrapped in a mound of paper towels and stuffed into a manila envelope, said Trooper Mark Cepiel, a State Police spokesman. Members of the State Police's Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team removed the envelope and searched the home for any additional material. "We went through, and anything that wasn't labeled and seemed somewhat questionable, we removed that as well," Cepiel said. The recently removed material has not been identified, but the previous batch included what was believed to be yellow fever vaccine. State health officials said none of the material was hazardous.
  • Acid in trash truck prompts HazMat response
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A gallon of acid dumped in the trash prompted a hazardous materials response by the Spokane Fire Department and closed down a section of Wellesley Avenue for two hours Wednesday morning. Wellesley Avenue was blocked off from Crestline St. to North Stone St. from 9 to 11 a.m. as firefighters were determining if the material was a threat. The incident commander said a clear liquid, later identified as acid, began bubbling in the back of a Waste Management garbage truck and producing a vapor. The truck was stopped and fire crews responded to the scene, establishing a cordon around the vehicle and telling residents in six nearby homes to stay inside and keep their windows closed until the substance was identified. Since the truck was parked across from a Walgreen's pharmacy, the store was closed and employees evacuated as a precaution.
  • Hazmat team responds to chemical spill in West Pikeland
    WEST PIKELAND — A farm tractor pulling a tank of pesticide turned on its side Tuesday afternoon on Route 113, creating a hazmat situation around 2:43 p.m. The Chester County Hazmat team responded to the scene at the intersection of Route 401 and Route 113. First responders said the spilled material was determined to be a pesticide that has nitrogen in it, and was not a fluid nitrogen as first reported. Lionville Fire Company firefighters said the farm tractor pulling the 800-gallon tank full of pesticide turned on to its side and roughly 500 gallons of the pesticide spilled. First responders worked to prevent the runoff from entering nearby storm drains. Lewis Environmental Group, which helps with emergency responses, arrived around 4:30 p.m. to help clean up the spilled pesticide.
  • Hazmat team responds to chemical spill
    West Pikeland >> First responders and the Chester County Hazmat team responded to a chemical spill on Route 113 on Tuesday afternoon. First responders said the spilled material was determined to be a pesticide that has nitrogen in it, and was not a fluid nitrogen as first reported when the responders were called around 2:43 p.m. Lionville Fire Company firefighters said a farm tractor that pulled an 800-gallon tank full of pesticide turned on to its side on Route 113 near the intersection of Route 401. According to first responders, roughly 500 gallons of the pesticide spilled.
  • Truck driver hospitalised after chemical leak
    A truck driver was hospitalised after chemicals leaked from his truck near Taupo overnight, the fire service says. The chemical leak also closed a road and forced residents in the area to evacuate their homes. The incident happened on State Highway 1 south of Taupo airport, just after midnight, northern fire communications shift manager Michael Upton said. The driver was taken to hospital with burning to his lungs after chemicals began to leak from five litre containers. A Hazmat unit was called in to contain the leak, he said. The leak had been cleaned up, the road had reopened and residents were able to return their homes by this morning, Mr Upton said.
  • Chemical firm pleads guilty to clean air violation
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Massachusetts-based chemical company has pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act at a facility it owned in Rhode Island. Roberts Chemical Co., now based in Attleboro, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Providence as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. The Environmental Protection Agency found in 2008 that Roberts was storing 27,467 pounds of ethyl ether at its former facility it in Pawtucket. Ethyl ether is volatile and highly flammable. The EPA requires companies storing more than 10,000 pounds of ethyl ether to develop a risk management plan to protect workers, the community and first responders. Roberts Chemical did not do so. The plea deal says the government and company will recommend the company be fined $200,000 and issue a public apology.
  • U.S. agency: DHHR can’t handle chemical incidents
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Department of Health and Human Resources lacks a program and properly trained staff to assess community-wide chemical exposures like those that followed the Elk River chemical leak in January, federal public health officials said in a new review made public Tuesday. U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry officials reported that the DHHR and its Bureau for Public Health do not have a program aimed at assessing patterns, causes and effects of chemical or radiological incidents, or other environmental emergencies. The ATSDR recommended that the state start such a program, hire new staff for it, and ensure those staff are properly trained. “There is potential for many different types of disasters to occur in West Virginia, such as an infectious-disease pandemic, winter storms with widespread power outages, wind disasters such as tornadoes or derechos, flooding, wildfires and extreme heat,” the ATSDR said. “Man-made disasters such as chemical or nuclear incidents or mass-casualty incidents like bridge collapses could occur as a result of an accident or be deliberate terrorist attacks.”
  • Countdown: Deadliest Chemical Accidents Since 2009
    It's been a year since President Obama signed an executive order (#13650) directing federal agencies to modernize chemical plant safety and security policies. Since then federal agencies tasked with developing new requirements for all chemical facilities in the United States have moved painfully slow. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the agency with the most enforceable authority to act and is one of the three agencies established by the executive order to coordinate a process and present recommendations under the executive order to the White House. On July 31st the EPA opened a 90 day comment period asking for public input on ways to improve the EPA's Risk Management Program (RMP) that currently oversees 12,700 facilities.
  • Mexico Says Mine Firm Lied About Chemical Spill
    Mexico's top environmental official said Tuesday that a mining company lied about a spill of millions of gallons of acids and heavy metals that contaminated two rivers and a dam downstream. Environment Secretary Juan Jose Guerra Abud said the mine falsely claimed the spill earlier this month was caused by unusually heavy rain. Officials say a construction defect at a holding pond allowed mining waste to flow out. "At the start, they told us it was excessive rain" that caused the containment pond to overflow, Guerra Abud said. "That was totally false," he said, saying there were no rains on that scale. "They said there would be a series of aid programs for the populations, which also did not happen when they said they would," he added at a news conference. Guerra Abud said the Buenavista del Cobre copper mine could face fines of up to $3 million for violations of safety and environmental standards. The mine is owned by the Grupo Mexico consortium, which earlier said in a statement that "torrential and unusual rains" were to blame and that it responded immediately by trying to contain the Aug. 7 spill.
  • 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -
    MERCER, Pa. (AP) - Two storage tanks at a natural gas well site in northwestern Pennsylvania caught fire and exploded, but no injuries were reported. More than a dozen fire departments responded to the blaze in rural Jefferson Township at about 8 p.m. Friday. That's about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh. Hilcorp Energy Company says that the storage tanks holding oil and gas liquids caught fire at the well pad and the blaze lasted less than an hour. Hilcorp says the well wasn't involved. Area residents say they heard explosions and that black smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away, but no homes were evacuated. The state Department of Environmental Protection closed a local road to all nonemergency vehicles.
  • ‘Explosive substance’ sparks lockdown at The Gap
    A HIGHLY volatile chemical taken to a suburban Brisbane police station could have detonated in transit, officers have warned. Regional duty officer for the Brisbane Region Inspector Steve Flori said an elderly resident of The Gap in Brisbane’s northwest discovered the substance at a home after her ex-husband - a former chemist - was admitted to hospital. She later handed the chemical, believed to be about 150ml and held in a small glass container, over to police at about 11am. “We believe the material had been there for decades, potentially, and analysis of the material revealed it was a substance called picric acid,” Insp Flori said.
  • UPDATE: No Explosion in Downtown Winston-Salem
    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- It was a wild Sunday afternoon in downtown Winston-Salem. HAZMAT crews responded to 200 First Street on reports of an explosion at Wake Forest One Technology Place. Fire officials originally told us a chemical explosion occurred on the fourth floor. They also asked that everyone avoid the area. After further inspection, it turned out the sprinkler system triggered a fire alarm. No one was injured and there was no explosion.
  • No Criminal Charges In Deadly Tesoro Refinery Explosion
    The U.S. Department of Justice has closed its four-year criminal investigation into whether environmental and worker safety laws were broken leading up to the fatal Tesoro refinery blast. The result: No one will face criminal charges in connection with the blast, which killed seven Tesoro workers in Anacortes, Washington, in 2010. A Friday afternoon press release from the Justice Department said its investigation found the evidence “does not reach the exacting bar for criminal prosecution.” The announcement brings to a close the Obama Administration’s response to the deadliest industrial accident in Washington state in 50 years.
  • Underground Blasts Force Evacuations in Downtown Indianapolis
    A series of small underground transformer explosions rocked downtown Indianapolis on Aug. 13, sending brownish-gray smoke billowing into the streets and forcing evacuations from nearby buildings. The explosions about 1:30 p.m. outside the Circle Centre shopping and entertainment mall rattled windows and sent police officers rushing into the area to evacuate workers and other onlookers to a safe distance away, Indianapolis Fire Department Capt. Rita Reith said. No one was injured. “It was just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and then they cleared the entire block,” Mark Neyland, an operations manager for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, told The Indianapolis Star. The agency has its offices near the site of the explosions. Bruce Plott, a construction worker who was nearby, said he heard what sounded like someone banging on aluminum garbage cans as he walked down some stairs around the corner from where the explosions occurred.
  • Toxic chemical trains collide in Arkansas leaving two dead
    Two Union Pacific trains collided near the rural town of Hoxie, about 200 kilometres northeast of Little Rock, on Sunday morning. Union Pacific Railroad reported that both trains had been carrying toxic chemical cargo and that the dead and injured were believed to be crew members. "As a precautionary measure a large number of Hoxie residents have been evacuated," police said, naming the town of around 3,000 in northeastern Arkansas where the collision took place at around 3:00 am (0700 GMT). "A fire involving one of the train engines was reported still burning at daybreak, however it is not believed to be threatening any of the toxic cargo," the statement added. Highways leading into Hoxie were closed by state police, it added. This forced officials to evacuate residents from the southern part of Hoxie.   Two other people were injured in the collision.
  • Major fire burns near SE Bexar Co. chemical plant
    SAN ANTONIO - Bexar County Emergency Management and county firefighters battled a major brush fire near a chemical plant near Elmendorf Sunday. Emergency Management personnel alerted all county fire units to respond to the fire scene in the 17800 block of Old Corpus Christi Highway. A total of 11 area fire stations responded. Their biggest concern was the proximity of the fire to the plant. "There are chemicals here, there are oxidizers, they are used to clean the fracking equipment and the wells. So they are keeping a close eye on this area," said Bexar County spokeswoman Laura Jesse. Firefighters struggling to contain the fire enlisted the help of AirLIFE and set back fires to help protect the highly flammable containers at the plant.
  • Haz-Mat called to scene of small fire near a local high school
    BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Haz-Mat crews were called out to Redemptorist High School Saturday evening after getting reports of a small dumpster fire. The fire happened around 7:00 pm. Investigators say after the fire was extinguished they noticed containers that looked to contain hazardous chemicals. Haz-Mat was then called out to identify the chemicals in the dumpster, they were determined to be Hydrochloric Acid and Acetone. The chemicals were safely removed from the dumpster and no significant damage was done to the school.
  • Firefighters Treated For Chemicals Exposure
    FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) -A Hazmat team treated several Fort Worth Fire Fighters after being exposed to chemicals while stomping out a fire. The fire was at 405 E. Daggett Ave at Jar-Texas Industries, a metal finishing company carries numerous chemicals on site. 20 firefighters were exposed to the chemicals while fighting the fire Saturday night. FWFD Hazardous Materials Response Teams responded to the scene to identify and mitigate the hazardous materials on site.https: Right now it is not believed any firefighters were contaminated, but their gear was discarded.
  • Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports
     Toledo is stepping up treatment and testing to keep the drinking water safe from algae. With algae in full bloom and strong levels showing in untreated water, the city is adding additional chemicals to the water to fight microcystin. You may notice a film on the water. The City stresses this is not harmful, but is due to increased alum added to fight the algae. The chlorine has also been slightly increased, so you might smell it. Windy weather on the lake overnight contributed to the issue, blowing the algae bloom closer to shore and closer to the City's water intake pipes. The readings went as high as .972, dangerously close to the 1 part per billion standard set by the World Health Organization. Deputy Lucas County Health Commissioner Larry Vasko says aggressive treatment was able to cut those levels in half.
  • Chemical spill turns river orange
    Ramona Yesenia stood in her town square with two empty jugs, waiting for water to replace the municipal supply contaminated by a chemical spill that turned Mexico's Sonora river orange. Yesenia is one of 20,000 people left without water since a massive sulfuric acid leak last week at the Buenavista copper mine in northwestern Mexico, one of the largest in the world. She waited in the sweltering heat with her mother and two daughters for water brought into the town of Arizpe by a tanker truck, but left empty-handed after the truck ran dry, unable to meet the demand from the seven affected towns. The housekeeper and farm laborer said she was afraid to even eat local food. "If they kill a cow, we don't know if we can eat it... They say if the (cattle) drink just a little water (from the river), they get infected," she said.
  • Hazardous Material Crews Responded to Merck and Company
    Hazardous material crews responded to Merck and Company in Cleveland this morning. Troy Spence with Bradley County EMA snapped these photos from the scene. He says a gasket on the flange broke. It started leaking an ether-based substance, which is extremely flammable... it formed this icy-looking substance. If left unattended, it could have exploded. "We went into the security office and looked at cameras," Troy Spence from Bradley County Emergency Management Agency said. "Merck knew where the leak was but they didn't have the crew to go in and fix it, so Bradley County fire crews went in and found the leak and it was where maintenance crews told it would be."