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  • Spill leads to Hazmat response
    The Tulare-Kings counties Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Team, Hazmat, responded to the Visalia Industrial Park Monday morning after employees from VSI Veterinarian Supply, Inc. spilled several gallons of cleaning acid. The 30-gallon container was punctured by a forklift driver. About 15 gallons of the acid spilled on to the concrete inside the VSI warehouse. No one was injured in the spill. The HazMat team is one of just a handful in the state that is eligible to respond to statewide emergencies.
  • Fiesta Texas fined for improper chemical storage
    SAN ANTONIO - The Edwards Aquifer Authority is fining Six Flags Fiesta Texas $31,000 for improperly storing hundreds to thousands of gallons of bleach, chlorine and sulfuric acid. The majority of the park sits atop the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. “The recharge zone is where the rain water filters down in through the surface into the aquifer,” said EAA spokeswoman Terri Herbold. “And just like that rainwater, chemicals can do that same thing.” Inspectors discovered those chemicals were not stored in the required tertiary tanks. "Basically, in layman's terms, it means three layers of protection," said Herbold.
  • RIVERSIDE: Liquid chemical near Jurupa Ave. prompts hazmat response
    The discovery of a liquid chemical in an abandoned and mostly empty 275-gallon container prompted a hazardous materials investigation in Riverside, city fire officials say. The container was reported about 10 a.m. Monday, March 30, on a sidewalk near the 6000 block of Jurupa Avenue, about a mile north of Riverside Municipal Airport. "The hazardous materials team was able to determine that the chemical was a substance used in producing foam products," Battalion Chief Jeff DeLaurie said in a written statement. "It is unknown who left the container or why. "The chemical was a very small quantity and did not pose a threat to the neighborhood."
  • Crash, Chemical Spill Shut Down Memorial Boulevard in Lakeland
    LAKELAND | A minor traffic accident caused a major road closure Monday afternoon when about 60 gallons of chemicals were spilled onto the 1400 block of East Memorial Boulevard. Lakeland police said Brett Ramsey of Winter Haven was traveling east on Memorial Boulevard in a 2007 Chevrolet pickup about 3 p.m. when his vehicle struck the rear driver's side of a 2004 Isuzu being driven by Christopher Hazelwood of Lakeland. The Isuzu is owned by Floralawn, a Lakeland-based lawn and pest company. Police said there were no injuries in the accident. A Florida Department of Environmental Protection official said the spilled chemicals did not pose a serious health risk. The impact ruptured a rear-mounted tank holding about 70 gallons of Macron 20-20-20, a fertilizer; T-Methyl, a fungicide; and Bifenthrin, a pesticide. Nearly 60 gallons of chemicals were spilled onto the roadway and into a storm drain before the vehicle was moved to a nearby patch of grass. The remaining chemicals continued to slowly leak from the back of the vehicle until chemical spill crews arrived on scene.
  • Manchester Private School Evacuated After Chemical Odor Spreads
    MANCHESTER — A private school was evacuated and two teachers were taken to the hospital Monday afternoon after a chemical being used in the basement spread into other parts of the building. No one was seriously hurt. The Eighth Utilities District Manchester Fire Department responded to The Cornerstone Christian School at 218 Main St. at about 12:20 p.m., Acting Fire Chief Don Moore said. A worker had been in the basement furnace room using a penetrating oil called PB Blaster to loosen bolts, Moore said. Noticing the noxious smell, the worker tried to mask the odor with air freshener, which made the situation worse, Moore said. Someone at the school called the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which relayed the call to the district, he said. Firefighters evacuated about 200 students and transported two teachers to Manchester Memorial Hospital for evaluation and treatment, Moore said. Eight young students were treated on the scene for nausea and headaches and released to their parents, he said.
  • Convictions, sentences in chemical device attack upheld
    TUCSON (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions and prison sentences of a Tucson man found guilty of using a chemical weapon on a couple who were customers of his power-washing business.     The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld Todd Russell Fries' convictions for using a chemical weapon and making false statements to the FBI.     He was accused of placing chlorine chemical devices at the home of the couple with whom he had a billing dispute in 2009.     The devices emitted a chemical cloud that forced evacuation of the neighborhood, and the appellate court's ruling said the devices had the potential to harm many people.
  • Lessons Learned Database
    Statement: Using the US Postal Service to return the samples did not violate Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations; however, the shipment did not come with a Battelle radioactive material (BRM) number by freight carrier to the Battelle Shipping and Receiving Warehouse (BSRW) on 6th Street where it would have been handled correctly. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) does not send radioactive samples--at any level--through the mail. Discussion: In 2012, a PNNL staff member sent three concrete samples--one spiked with trace amounts of uranium--to Washington State University for analysis. WSU returned the results and an invoice in the spring of 2013, but not the samples. In October 2014, long after the staff member had left the Lab, WSU unexpectedly mailed the samples to a second individual at PNNL. She opened the box in her office, recognized the radiological marking, and called a Radiation Protection Technologist. Analysis: The person who originated the sample shipment to WSU no longer works at the Lab and it is not known what expectations were communicated to WSU for disposition of the samples or whether they were accompanied by a "chain of custody" (COC) form. COC forms are used to assign sample responsibility and custody to others and can be used to set expectations for delivering return shipments to PNNL according to our protocol.
  • Crew airlifted to hospital after Lands' End chemical spill
    Three men have been taken to hospital after being splashed by a highly corrosive chemical on-board a ship. The UK coastguard in Falmouth and the RNAS Culdrose Sea King rescue helicopter were scrambled to assist the chemical tanker near Lands' End at 10pm yesterday. The crew, who were travelling to Hamburg in Germany, raised a distress call when three men – all of whom are of Indian decent and in their mid 20s – came in to contact with concentrated nitric acid. A spokesman for the UK coastguard in Falmouth said: "We sought medical advice from the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth and they advised an immediate evacuation. "The men were walking wounded – certainly one has suffered back and head injuries, one eye injuries and I am not sure about the third. "As I am not a medic I would not like to say if their injuries are life-threatening." Due to gale-force winds, the helicopter was unable to rescue the men at sea, instead the tanker was forced to take shelter in Mounts Bay while the crew of the Sea King lifted them off-board. The operation finished at 3am and all three men have been taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro for treatment.
  • Fire at ExxonMobil Beaumont chemical plant put out
    BEAUMONT - At about 5:45 a.m. Monday ExxonMobil says a fire at it's Beaumont chemical plant is out.  According to an ExxonMobil spokesperson everyone is accounted for and no one was hurt. The fire started around midnight Monday when a vapor release from a propylene line caught fire. Spokesperson Lee Dula says the fire at the plant off Madison Ave. caused some of the workers in the chemical plant to be moved to alternative locations.  Some workers were allowed to go home. However all personnel are being told to report for their scheduled shifts and check in with their supervisors. He adds ongoing air monitoring continues to indicates no impacts to the community.
  • Fire in petroleum refinery laboratory
    RAS TANURA, EASTERN PROVINCE — A fire at Aramco’s petroleum refinery laboratory in Ras Tanura was reported on Friday and no one was injured. Aramco reported that the emergency team of firefighters extinguished the fire and a committee was been formed to investigate the cause of the fire. The fire did not hinder the laboratory’s work and everything continued as normal.
  • Tomblin signs bill that rolls back chemical tank safety law
    Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Friday signed into law a bill that significantly reduces the scope and strength of a chemical tank safety bill passed a year ago in the wake of the Freedom Industries leak and the resulting regionwide water crisis. The bill (SB423) exempts from new safety and inspection requirements more than 36,000 chemical tanks that would have been covered by the law unanimously approved last year to avoid a repeat of the Freedom chemical leak that contaminated the drinking water for 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding communities. An opt-out provision allowing tank owners to comply with existing state permits instead of the new tank standards is expected to drop that number to perhaps as few as 90 tanks covered by the safety law. In a prepared statement, the governor said the bill “represents reasonable steps to ensure protection of our drinking water resources by focusing on the tanks that pose the most risk.”
  • One dead in Vandalia carbon monoxide leak
    VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) — A woman is dead following a carbon monoxide leak in a Vandalia neighborhood. Crews were called to the 100 block of Maple Street after 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The Montgomery County Coroner was called to the scene. Officials confirmed Patricia Bolden, 43, died from possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Police say it looked like Bolden lived alone and that she was found near the door of her apartment by her husband . Fire crews evacuated about 10 people and started ventilating the building. Two other people were treated for CO exposure, but weren’t taken to the hospital. Fire Chief Chad Follick with Vandalia Fire Department says they believe the leak was caused by some type of gas fire appliance.
  • Tanker Driver Charged in Hazmat Scare That Stalled I-71
    COLUMBUS (Tara Morgan) -- The truck driver involved in a hazmat scare that shut down I-71 south for hours Thursday afternoon is facing charges, according to the Columbus Division of Police. Richard Holloway of Columbia, S.C., is charged with disobeying a traffic control device and improper transport of hazardous materials, police announced Friday. Police say an officer stopped Holloway for suspicion of transporting hazardous material. The officer then approached the semi and "was overcome by fumes from the tanker. He also observed liquid leaking from one of the valves." The officer and Holloway removed themselves from the area and notified the Columbus Division of Fire about a possible hazmat situation. The officer spotted a leak, but it was hours before hazmat crews figured out that it wasn't the cargo but condensation, ABC6/FOX28's Tara Morgan reported. Emergency crews dressed head-to-toe in hazmat gear climbed all over the tanker Thursday.   The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio responded to the scene and took the tanker out of service due to a faulty safety valve which contributed to the fumes emitting from the tanker. Police say the officer was taken to the hospital as a precaution and later released.
  • Hazmat crew responds to gasoline tank malfunction
    CHICO, Calif. - Chico Fire Department responded to a gasoline tank malfunction in Friday morning in South Chico. According to Chico Fire Division Chief Steve Harrison, there was a problem with the membrane inside a large gasoline tank at the Kinder Morgan Tank Farm at 2570 Hegan Lane in Chico. Kinder Morgan transports and stores petroleum products.  The tank that was involved in Friday's incident contains 260,000 gallons of gasoline. Harrison said a membrane inside the tank is designed to float on the surface of the liquid to control the escape of vapors.   Friday morning, employees discovered gasoline sitting on top of the membrane, and noticed the membrane was sinking in the tank. Chief Harrison said the process of draining the tank and moving the gasoline was expected to take between 9 and 15 hours. A hazmat team responded to the scene along with Chico Fire Department and CAL FIRE, who set up a perimeter.
  • East Village Building Explosion Update: Gas Suspected As Cause For 7-Alarm Fire That Injured 12, 3 Critically
    At least 19 people were injured Thursday, three of them critically, in a suspected gas explosion and a subsequent seven-alarm fire originating at 121 Second Ave. in New York City’s East Village neighborhood. Two of the critically injured suffered burns to their airways while the other fell unconscious following the explosion, according to Fire Department of New York Commissioner Daniel Nigro, who added that the “majority of those injured were injured in the initial explosion.” Two adjoining buildings, 119 and 125 Second Ave., have been directly affected by the fire, while two others, 121 and 123 Second Ave., collapsed. The FDNY contained the fire to those four buildings as of 6 p.m. EDT. In a televised press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said independent contractors were working on the gas systems at 121 Second Ave. just prior to the explosion, although a reason for the explosion has not been verified. Con Edison, the utility company that supplies most of the city’s buildings with gas, had inspected a new meter system at the building at around 2 p.m. EDT Thursday. The work was ultimately not approved and Con Edison provided instructions for fixing those issues. It was unclear if that work is related to the explosion. “We have the Department of Environmental Protection hazmat operation responding to check for the environmental impact and the health impact,” said de Blasio.
  • Elmhurst firefighters respond to science classroom fire
    ELMHURST – The Elmhurst Fire Department responded Wednesday morning to a fire at Sandburg Middle School that was apparently caused by a chemical reaction in a science classroom, according to a city news release. When fire crews arrived at about 9:45 a.m., they found heavy smoke coming from a classroom on the school's lower level, the release stated. School administrators reported all students and staff were evacuated and accounted for. The investigation revealed a chemical reaction had triggered the fire, which was extinguished by an automatically activated sprinkler system, according to the release. The fire department performed maintenance to replace the activated sprinkler head, ventilated the area with a smoke ejector, and performed cleanup as needed. No students were present in the classroom at the time of the incident, and no injuries were reported, the release stated. Damage was limited to ceiling tiles, classroom supplies and audio-video equipment, and it is estimated to be $11,000, according to the release.
  • Health advisory lifted after Dow Chemical release in Pittsburg
    PITTSBURG, Calif. (KGO) -- A Public Health Advisory has been lifted after a Level 2 chemical release at the Dow Chemical plant in Pittsburg. It happened just before 3 a.m. Dow said the chemical can irritate people, and that could lead to problems like watery eyes, sore throats, and breathing issues. A Contra Costa County hazardous materials team is on the scene to deal with the release. The advisory was impacting residents in Pittsburg and Antioch.
  • UPDATE: I-39/90 Westbound lanes now open
    JANESVILLE, Wis.--- Some homes in the 1700 block of Green Valley Drive are being evacuated near a chemical spill on I-90. Police described the evacuations as minimal. The Janesville Hazmat team monitored the neighborhood air quality and did not receive any dangerous readings. The spill was caused by an accident involving two semi trucks. A semi truck side swiped another semi truck that was stalled along the interstate because of a small electrical fire. One of the semi trucks was carrying pool chemicals and all the chemicals started leaking after the accident. The incident happened on the westbound Interstate 39/90 near mile marker 172. Westbound traffic on the Interstate is closed from E. Racine Street to US 14. Hazmat crews are working to identify up to 15 different chemicals. The chemicals started mixing together and a heat reaction occurred, but it has subsided now.
  • EPA releases first part of frack study, an analysis of chemical disclosure
    The Environmental Protection Agency released an analysis of frack water on Friday, based on data that drillers supplied to the website FracFocus. The EPA’s report is just one part of the agency’s long awaited fracking study, which will assess the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water supplies. The full report is due out this spring. The EPA researchers say less than one percent of frack fluid in their analysis of 39,000 wells contained additives, while water made up 88 percent of the fluid, and sand, or quartz, made up ten percent. The agency identified 692 separate frack water ingredients. Maximum concentrations of these chemicals were usually below 2 percent of the total mass, while half of the chemicals were below 0.3 percent of mass. EPA science advisor Tom Burke told reporters on a press call that the chemical additives and volumes of water varied greatly from well to well. Water usage for each fracked well ranged from 35,000 gallons to 7.2 million gallons. “While these maximum concentrations [of chemical additives] are low percentages of the overall fracturing fluid,” said Burke, “more than half the wells had water volumes greater than 1.5 million gallons. So a small percentage may mean hundreds or thousands of gallons of chemicals could be transported to, and present on, the well pad prior to mixing on the fracking fluid. Remember one percent of a million gallons is a large number — 10,000 gallons.” The three top chemicals used in the frack fluid were hydrochloric acid, methanol, and hydro-treated light petroleum distillates. Hydrochloric acid is used to keep the well casings free of mineral build-ups, while methanol is used to increase viscosity. Petroleum distillates are refined products like diesel, kerosene, or fuel oil, and are used to make the fluid “slick,” or soapy, and thereby reduce friction.
  • School science experiment goes awry, injures 3 students
    TOPEKA, Kan. —A science experiment gone awry has injured three high school students in Topeka. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that liquid from the experiment spilled onto the floor and ignited during class Wednesday afternoon at Highland Park High School. District spokesman Ron Harbaugh said in an email Thursday that the fire spread to the feet of three students. Harbaugh said the students were taken for medical treatment, but he didn't elaborate on the degree of their injuries. The email said two of the students were in school Thursday and that the third student was expected to be at school Friday. Harbaugh also didn't go into much detail about the science experiment, except to say it "had been done numerous times in the class."
  • Recent Manhole Explosions Caused by Winter, Age and Chemistry
    Call it another form of March Madness: not flying basketballs, but flying manhole covers. Scientific literature traces manhole explosions back nearly a century, but a series of such incidents in Indianapolis, host of the NCAA basketball championships, has authorities looking for a quick solution. Good luck with that. A combination of power system design, winter road salt, older electrical cable insulation and basic chemistry have triggered underground explosions in older downtowns, launching 350-pound manhole covers high in the air. One Georgia Tech engineering professor calculated the explosions could have the force of three sticks of dynamite. "They have found a manhole cover on top of a building in a certain downtown city," said Daniel O'Neill, who advises several utilities on the problem. "They are dangerous things. There are hundreds of these things happening every year." Manhole covers have launched several stories in the air, O'Neill said. The nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute's lab in Lenox, Massachusetts, has spent the last 25 years setting off what officials there call "manhole events." It's not for fun. Engineers are trying to find a way to keep manhole covers from flying.
  • Investigation determines fire at Warsaw Chemical was an accident
    An investigation looking into last month's fire at Warsaw Chemical is complete. According to our reporting partners at 1480 News Now, inspectors have determined that the fire was accidental. The fire occurred at the company's facility at 290 Argonne Road in Warsaw on February 6. Six waste water personnel and three firefighters were taken to the hospital for treatment. They were released from medical care the same day. The fire report revealed that the fire suppression system in the building may not have fully deployed.
  • Four Treated for Chemical Burns at Hopkinsville Facility
    Several people were treated for chemical burns after being exposed to an unknown chemical at a Hopkinsville facility Wednesday night.   Hopkinsville Fire Department Capt. Steve Futrell says multiple response vehicles were called to the Douglas Autotech building on Commerce street at approximately 6:51 P.M.   At the scene, four people were treated for decontamination of an acid-based cleaning agent. Three patients were transported via ambulance to Jennie Stuart Medical Center but another suffered severe burns and was flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.  
  • Crews cleaning up chemical spill in Colbert County
    CHEROKEE, Ala. (WAAY)- Both West bound lanes and one East bound lane of highway 72 in Cherokee are open, after a semi truck exploded carrying hazardous chemicals. Officials responded to the scene around 2 a.m. A little over 6,500 pounds of Resin Solution and 500 pounds of Sodium Metasilicate spilled onto the highway catching fire. The incident caused both east and west bound lanes of highway 72 to be shut down for hours. Stranding many truckers and residents. Four homes near the area had to be evacuated because of safety concerns.
  • Under Pressure, Chemical Safety Head Resigns
    March 26, 2015 Facing pressure from the White House and members of Congress from both parties, the head of the Chemical Safety Board is resigning effective Thursday. Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso announced his resignation to staff in an email Thursday evening; the news was confirmed by CSB. He led the agency since 2010, a tenure dogged by internal turmoil and allegations that he mismanaged and overstressed the staff. Moure-Eraso had just three months left in his five-year term at CSB, the independent agency tasked with investigating chemical incidents and issuing recommendations. "It has been a privilege to serve the agency since June 2010," Moure-Eraso wrote to the staff. "My wishes are for the continued success and productivity of the Board. Good luck to the Board and the staff in all your projects at the CSB. I am forever grateful for the hard work of the agency that has led to so many successes over the past five years." The White House asked Moure-Eraso to step aside, which the administration communicated to lawmakers this week.