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  • Update: Seacrest Avenue reopened following chlorine leak
    A chlorine leak caused the 2400 block of Seacrest Avenue to be closed and limited movement at the Plumosa School of the Arts on Friday afternoon, according to Delray Beach Fire Rescue. Aqua Crest Pool was evacuated for part of the afternoon. The leak was secured around 2 p.m. According to Delray Beach Fire Rescue, a pool supply truck was making a delivery of chemicals to the pool complex when it was noted that a 15 gallon barrel of chlorine was bulging, indicating a chemical reaction. Crews were able to access the truck with chemical protective gear and place the compromised container within a larger drum for removal.
  • Oil rig fire in Oklahoma kills two workers, critically burns two others
    An oil rig fire in rural Coal County, Oklahoma killed two workers and injured three others, two critically, early Friday morning. The state medical examiner’s office identified the men killed as Tulsa resident Kelsey Bellah, 27, and Ada resident Gary Keenen, 26. The oil rig is located about 2 miles west of Coalgate, a town roughly 100 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The critically injured workers were taken to a hospital burn unit in Oklahoma City via airlift, while the third suffered from minor burns on his hands. The oil rig is owned by Texas-based Pablo Energy. All five men were employees of Lamont-based drilling contractor Dan D. Drilling, which conducts business in Oklahoma, Kansas and the Texas Panhandle. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the State Fire Marshal have begun a joint investigation into the cause of the fire. An OSHA spokesman told the press, “We’re just trying to put the puzzle pieces on the table and (are) looking at them.” Neither Pablo Energy nor the contractor Dan D. Drilling would answer calls from reporters.
  • Motion claims conflict of interest in Charleston chemical spill
    CHARLESTON, WV - Nearly a year after the Charleston chemical spill, a hearing will take place trying to remove U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office from prosecuting criminal charges. U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnson has scheduled the hearing for January 5, 2015. The lawyers for the former president of Freedom Industries, Gary Southern, filed a motion claiming Goodwin's office has a conflict of interest -- because its employees and their families were victims of the spill that left 300,000 residents without tap water for days. Southern, three other ex-Freedom executives, the company itself and two other employees are facing pollution charges. Southern also faces fraud charges related to the company's bankruptcy case.
  • Day after chemical spill, rly cops plan to find out if manufacturer had valid licence
    THANE: A day after five railway commuters were injured after a bottle of chemical solution cracked and its contents spilled on the train floor, the railway police is planning to ascertain whether the manufactures had a valid licence and if the contents used were permissible. Meanwhile, the condition of the victims is said to be stable and four of them have been discharged from the Thane Civil hospital, on Saturday. The railway police visited the restaurant, in Mulund, from where one of the commuters, Manohar Shetty, had reportedly got the chemical. The restaurant had got the chemical from an Andheri-based firm, which was closed when the cops went there. ''We want to find out whether the firm had a valid licence to sell the chemical. We are also verifying the contents. We visited the firm on Saturday. However, it was shut. Our officials will visit the firm again on Monday,'' said an investigation official. While four persons have been discharged, one person is still under observation. ''We had discharged one of the injured persons, Sayaji Phanse, on Friday itself. The others, too, have been discharged. Only one person is still under observation but his condition is said to be stable,'' said civil surgeon Dr. Raghunath Rathod. Railway activists have now started questioning the safety of commuters. ''There must be a mechanism to detect what commuters are carrying with them. The impact of Friday's incident could have been much greater. The police must conduct random checks at the station so that incidents like this are avoided,'' said railway activist Nandkumar Deshmukh.
  • Villains who poisoned W. Va. drinking water could end up behind bars
    Remember back in January when a chemical spill poisoned drinking water for 300,000 West Virginians? Well, this week, six owners, managers, and employees of the (ir)responsible company, Freedom Industries, were indicted by a federal grand jury. The prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, said that the company executives’ “flagrant disregard for the law” resulted in the “completely preventable” toxic leak. As 2014 wraps up, the (something resembling) justice system inches a small step closer to punishing the perpetrators of the contamination crime that kicked off the year in environmental disasters. Before we explore the legal proceedings, let’s take a moment for a refresher on the illegal proceedings that begot this court case. On Jan. 9, Freedom was neglectfully operating its facility of 14 poorly maintained tanks holding 4 million gallons of nasty chemicals on the banks of the Elk River, about a mile upstream of Kanawha County’s municipal water intake, just like any other day. Throughout that morning, residents of Charleston, W. Va., reported whiffs of a sweet, licorice-like fragrance in the air. When the state’s Department of Environmental Protection arrived to investigate, having simply followed their noses to the site of the spill, inspectors observed a 400-square-foot pool of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, a toxic substance used to “clean” coal of impurities before it’s burned, around a ruptured tank, which appeared to have been leaking for some time. The chemical, MCHM for short, was seeping past a shoddy containment dike, straight toward the river.
  • New reports outline Texas chemical plant confusion, chaos during leak, 4 workers die
    LA PORTE, Texas — Danny Francis was working with four others in a control room at DuPont's La Porte plant at 3:30 a.m. Nov. 15 when he "heard a female voice on the radio that sounded 'frantic.'?" Crystle Wise, a seasoned operator who had joined DuPont only eight months before, was trapped on the fourth floor of a hulking pesticide processing unit about 50 yards away. She reported that she had been exposed to a chemical and was experiencing a reaction. The Houston Chronicle ( ) reports that inside the control room, no alarms indicated a leak and no images on computer screens pinpointed her location as Francis donned a helmet, goggles and gloves. He headed to the Lannate building — part of what DuPont calls its Insecticide Business Unit — only a few minutes behind co-worker Robert Tisnado, according to accounts in newly released reports from the Harris County fire marshal and Sheriff's Office. Francis reached the fourth floor by climbing sets of metal stairs inside the foul-smelling pesticide unit, but couldn't find Wise or Tisnado.
  • EPA announces first federal regulations for coal ash waste
    Six years after a catastrophic coal ash spill in Tennessee washed away homes and polluted rivers, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday the first federal regulations for the toxic wastes created by coal burned to produce electricity. The regulations disappointed environmental groups because coal ash is not treated like hazardous waste, as they had demanded. Instead the regulations tend to favor electric utilities. The rules do not cover all coal ash ponds at closed power plants or require that existing unlined coal ash impoundments be moved to lined, dry storage away from waterways. But for the first time, the EPA will regulate the storage and disposal of the estimated 140 million tons of coal produced by utilities every year. Currently, states regulate coal ash impoundments with standards that vary widely.
  • Toxic fumes cause evacuation at Intercos Global Cosmetics in Congers
    CONGERS - A report of toxic fumes caused a hazmat scare at a Rockland County business Friday morning. Rockland County’s hazmat team arrived at Intercos Global Cosmetics in Congers after overheated sorbic acid caused toxic fumes. Owners of the building called for a voluntary evacuation after at least two people reported feeling ill just before 11 a.m. Several people were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
  • L'Ariosto owner fined after manager was served corrosive chemical
    THE firm behind the famous Di Maggio's restaurant chain has been fined £30,000 after a manager was served a deadly chemical with his lunch. Michael Prior, 40, ordered sparkling water with his food at the upmarket restaurant L'Ariosto on May 17, 2008, but was accidentally given beer line cleaner, a highly corrosive chemical which had been carried in water bottles from another restaurant. It caused him serious internal burns and he had to be rushed to hospital where he ended up in intensive care and was ventilated for five days. He later had to have his oesophagus removed. Windows Catering Company, which also owns Di Maggios and Amarone, pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to breaching health and safety legislation between April 30 and May 17, 2008. The firm admitted failing to assess risks relating to beer line cleaner, failing to ensure safe use and storage of it and failing to provide a safe system of work at the restaurant on Mitchell Street, Glasgow.
  • Chemical dump forces Songhees First Nation evacuations
    Residents of 12 Victoria-area homes spent last night at an emergency reception centre after a chemical spill forced them to leave. View Royal Fire chief Paul Hurst says more than two dozen firefighters and hazardous-material technicians were called out to the home on the 1500 block of Middle Road yesterday. Police say the home was located in a trailer park on land leased out by the Songhees First Nation land near View Royal. Hurst says neighbours reported seeing a man emptying what is believed to be four barrels of sodium hydroxide onto a lawn around 6 p.m. PT, but police say testing is still being done to confirm the substance. Sodium hydroxide is widely used in the oil and pulp industries and is present in many cleaning products, but it's also used in making illegal drugs such as methamphetamine. Emergency crews were able to contain the spill and they believe that the chemical didn't get into any water streams.
  • TIMELINE: Velsicol Chemical leaves large toxic footprint in the "Middle of the Mitten"
    The story of Velsicol Chemical in St. Louis, Michigan is quite complicated.  And it grows more so as plans continue to develop for finding and cleaning up the contamination left behind in this small town. We've been working to bring you up to speed on the history of Velsicol Chemical in St. Louis, Michigan all this week. It's one of the most polluted places in Michigan. The company was sloppy, and mistakes were made when it first tried to contain its pollution on its old plant site. Since then, the community has been working hard to push the government to give the city and the people in St. Louis a thorough cleanup. They hope that future generations won't have to deal with this toxic legacy.
  • Fire at Redlands battery manufacturing facility causes $25,000 worth of damage
    REDLANDS >> A fire at an industrial battery manufacturing facility on Brockton Avenue caused businesses in the vicinity to be evacuated Tuesday evening. The Redlands Fire Department responded to the incident at 840 W. Brockton Ave. at around 5:30 p.m. after receiving a report of a fire in the formation area of the Teledyne Battery Products facility, authorities said in a news release. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered light smoke coming from the building, they added. Because of the smoke and a chemical smell, businesses such as The Home Depot, Jack in the Box, 7-Eleven and Toyota of Redlands were evacuated until crews got a handle on things. The cause of the fire is under investigation, said city spokesman Carl Baker.
  • Zotos VP: Nov. spill was cleaned up quickly
    GENEVA — Doug Parkinson, the new Vice President of Operations at Zotos International, said the company reacted properly to a Nov. 19 chemical spill at the Forge Avenue manufacturing plant. There was a spill of an estimated 720 gallons of ammonium hydroxide the night of Nov. 19. State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 8 officials said the spill happened after workers replaced a pump that transferred the ammonium hydroxide from a storage tank to a processing tank. Where's the story? 4 Points Mentioned Ammonia hydroxide is a solution of ammonia in water. It’s typically used as a cleaning agent. Upon learning of the discharge of the chemical into the stormwater collection system on the property, Parkinson said Zotos immediately contained the discharge at the exit to the drainage system and blocked off the drainage way to prevent any further contamination.
  • HAZMAT, Lake County Narcotics investigating unknown chemicals in Willoughby
    HAZMAT teams and Lake County Narcotics as well as Willoughby police and fire departments were investigating unknown chemicals at a building at 28323 Apollo Parkway in Willoughby on Dec. 17. Willoughby Fire Chief Al Zwegat said they were called in by law enforcement officers for help investigating the scene at about 9 p.m.  “Right now there’s no concern of any exposure for occupants in any of the other buildings and there’s no need for evacuation at this time,” he said.  Zwegat said there were teams inside sampling unknown chemicals with a device that can identify over 60,000 different chemicals.  A green decontamination tent was set up at the scene for “worst-case scenario,” he said.  “Some of it we’re not exactly sure what we’re dealing with,” he said. “It’s decontamination so if they do come in contact with some unknown chemical that requires decontamination we’re all ready to deal with it.”  The fire chief said there were no employees in the building. He said there was one man in the building, who is fine.” 
  • Students find chemical leak in apartment – U N I V E R S E
    Four BYU students living at 9 and 9 apartments, located at 876 E. and 900 N., reported that an alarm was continually ringing on their apartment’s carbon monoxide detector. The roommates believe a carbon monoxide leak in their apartment could’ve been deadly. Alex Martin, a BYU student from Houston, is one of the affected roommates. Martin has lived at 9 & 9 Apartments since the last week of August. Martin said that Nelson Brothers Management was very neglectful in dealing with a life threatening problem. Inside the apartment’s water heater closet, carbon monoxide levels of 2000 parts per million were found. The water heater malfunctioned and gas was then exposed.
  • 'Multiple human errors' led to deadly Taiwan gas blasts
    Prosecutors said deadly gas explosions in Taiwan were caused by "multiple human errors" Thursday as they charged 12 people over the blasts, including the head of a chemical company and government officials. The disaster killed 32 people and wounded more than 300 in southern Kaohsiung city in July as explosions in underground pipelines sparked massive fires and left trenches running down the middle of some streets, with vehicles thrown onto the roofs of buildings. In the first indictments since the blasts, prosecutors charged the chairman of LCY Chemical Corp., which operated the pipeline, and 11 others with causing death and injuries by professional negligence and offences against public safety. "Multiple human errors led to the grave tragedies of 32 people losing their lives and 321 people being injured," prosecutors said in a statement.
  • Bible Hill Fire, RCMP and HAZMAT respond to chemical spill at Dal AC
    BIBLE HILL – When police arrived on scene at Dalhousie Agricultural College just after noon on Thursday, a routine response quickly escalated when a bystander used the word “explosion.” At 1:30 p.m., RCMP and Bible Hill Fire Department responded to an automated alarm inside the Cox Institute of Agricultural Technology. Upon arrival, a person who was inside the building said they heard a small explosion. The decision was quickly made to call in a hazardous materials team to air on the safe side of caution as fumes began to circulate through the building. In the end, the crews determined a container of creosote had broken open in an empty room, causing a loud crash but no explosion. “The initial word was that there was a small explosion on the second floor,” said Bible Hill fire Chief Dwane Mellish. “We wanted to take our time and get everyone involved to stay on the safe side of things.” Around 2 p.m., a small group of firefighters entered the building and surveyed the scene, ensuring all rooms were empty. An hour later, the HAZMAT crew went in and began clean up. Creosote, a wood-preserving chemical, is not explosive or corrosive. Around 4:30 p.m., once a safe air quality was ensured, the building was re-opened. Despite not being as threatening a situation as it seemed early on, the firefighters and police took every step to ensure safety.
  • UPDATE: Auburndale Firefighters Respond to Ammonia Leak at Commercial Carrier :Daily Ridge
    Two of the three employees exposed to the leak  were transported to the hospital. There were 100 lbs of ammonia released in the building. Progress Road is shut down as hazmat crews work to contain the leak, according to Auburndale Fire Chief Stuart McCutcheon. Original Release AUBURNDALE- Auburndale firefighters are on the scene of an ammonia leak at Commercial Carrier, 420 Progress Road. Firefighters responded at 10:17 a.m. An ammonia line burst in the plant. The building was evacuated. Three employees exposed to the leak were rescued at the scene. There are no further injuries. Progress Road is closed as firefighters continue  to contain leak. Polk County Fire Rescue and the county’s Hazmat team are assisting. There is no other information to report at this time.
  • One Million Dollar Price Tag to Clean up Santa Paula Explosion Site
    VENTURA, Calif. - The cost to put out a chemical fire and clean up the Mission Rock Road waste disposal site is estimated to be $1 million so far. A chemical reaction inside a vacuum truck triggered an explosion at the facility on November 18 hurting dozens of people and forcing many residents in Santa Paula to evacuate. County leaders updated the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday on the progress of the clean up and efforts to make the waste water treatment facility safer. "We have made a great deal of progress," said Chris Stephens, Director of the County's Resource Management Agency. "The site has been neutralized and cleaned up with the exception of the 'lake' in the center of the facility where the initial explosion occurred. That area is expected to be neutralized, solidified and removed in the next three weeks" said Stephens. Officials told the Supervisors that hundreds of tests show the area is safe from hazardous materials and that produce grown in the area is safe from any contamination. The Mission Rock Road waste disposal plant will not reopen until three conditions are met. The site must be completely cleaned and deemed safe. The company must demonstrate that it can operate safely and the city of Oxnard must agree to accept products from the facility. The $1 million loss does not include two fire engines damaged in the blast.
  • Seven workers injured in fire at Nandesari plant
    VADODARA: Seven workers were injured after a fire broke out at a manufacturing facility in Nandesari GIDC near here on Tuesday. Fire brigade officials said the fire engulfed one of the plants of Nandesari-based PAB Organics Private Limited after an explosion in a chemical reactor. The fire broke out in the plant number two of the private limited firm, which manufactures fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals intermediates. The vital statistics of other five workers are normal," said a doctor from the emergency department of Shreeji Hospital. "It took us around two and half hours to extinguish the fire. There was a barrel of highly flammable solvent and a tank of methanol 40 feet away from the spot where the explosion took place.
  • PendaForm cited by OSHA in August chemical spill
    A local thermoforming manufacturing company has been ordered to pay $25,000 in fines after receiving seven citations that it mishandled a chemical spill in August. PendaForm Corp. received citations for seven serious violations, according to a “Citation and notification of penalty” document issued Nov. 6 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. PendaForm entered into an informal settlement agreement with OSHA in the spill that occurred Aug. 25, said Chad Greenwood, assistant area director of OSHA’s Madison office. According to the citations, PendaForm failed to have employees use proper equipment to handle the chemical spill, train its employees in the proper procedure to clean it up, or have an emergency response plan to deal with hazardous spills. OSHA initially ordered PendaForm to pay $49,000 in fines, or $7,000 for each of the seven violations. After PendaForm officials met with OSHA in November, the fine was reduced to $25,000, according to Scott Allen, regional directgor of public affairs for the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Lab fire in Sonning Common was not a chemical incident
    A small fire in a Sonning Common lab was contained to one room by firefighters yesterday. Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service sent a full chemical incident unit to Johnson Matthey Technology Centre in Blounts Court at 4.06pm. However, when fire crews arrived they found the small blaze was confined to machinery in a laboratory clean room. Spokesman for the fire service Dominic Llewellyn-Jones said: "The fire was contained to the one room and did not spread to any other part of the building." Caversham Road Fire Statio had also joined the Oxfordshire firefighters in tackling the small blaze and all the crews left the scene by 5.30pm.
  • 4 indicted in West Virginia chemical spill case
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  Four former chemical company executives have been indicted on pollution charges over a January spill that triggered a ban on drinking water for days for 300,000 West Virginia residents. The indictment unsealed Wednesday charged ex-Freedom Industries presidents Gary Southern and Dennis P. Farrell and two others with failing to ensure that the company operated the steel storage tank that leaked the coal-cleaning chemical in a reasonable and environmentally sound manner. Southern also faces federal fraud charges related to the company's bankruptcy case. Freedom filed for bankruptcy eight days after the Jan. 9 spill of the chemicals into the Elk River in Charleston. West Virginia American Water uses the river for its water supply a mile and a half downstream. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that the tank conditions at Freedom Industries "were not only grievously unacceptable, but unlawful. They put an entire population needlessly at risk.  As these actions make clear, such conduct cannot, and will not, be tolerated."
  • Worker hospitalized after anhydrous ammonia leak in Charleston
    CHARLESTON, Ore. - One person was hospitalized after an anhydrous ammonia leak at Bandon Pacific on Tuesday. State police said a 300-pound tank holding the ammonia was compromised shorlty after 3 p.m. when a maintenance worker was draining the oil from the bottom of a freezer that was shut down. "He could not get the valve shut off fast enough and it overtook him and he decided to leave the area," said Charleston Fire Chief Mike Sneddon. About 50 people were evacuated from the area. "Coos Bay Hazmat went in, closed the valve, and then they capped the bottom of it just to make sure," said Heddon.
  • CSB: DuPont Safety Lapses, Mechanical Failures Cited In Fatal Texas Accident
    Mechanical problems and ineffective safety practices were likely factors in the chemical leak that killed four workers last month at DuPont’s complex in La Porte, Texas, federal authorities say. The U. S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), an independent agency charged with investigating chemical accidents, points to problems with the vent system in the building where the release of 23,000 lb of toxic methyl mercaptan originated on Nov. 15. In addition, DuPont “did not effectively implement good safety practices” that require workers to wear air respirators and other protective equipment, CSB alleges. On the basis of its own review, DuPont says it believes that CSB’s description of the circumstances “leading to the release of methyl mercaptan from the vent header system is the most likely scenario.” But the company adds that it “does not necessarily agree with other aspects of CSB’s statement.” CSB disclosed preliminary findings from its ongoing inquiry in testimony submitted to two Senate committees on Dec. 11. The panels are examining the Obama Administration’s efforts to improve safety at chemical facilities. According to CSB, the leak occurred after an unplanned shutdown of the methomyl production unit because of water dilution in a chemical storage tank. Methomyl is the active ingredient in DuPont’s Lannate brand insecticide.