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  • Gusher of Cash Follows Chemical Spill
    On Thursday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) presented a new version of legislation to overhaul chemical safety regulations, dissenting from a bipartisan bill that was still being negotiated more than a year after it was introduced. But Boxer, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, isn’t the only one putting up a fight: Several big players in the chemical industry have been laying out record amounts of money to influence regulatory legislation. Despite its name, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, an effort to overhaul the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, has been criticized by several environmental groups — and heartily approved by the American Chemistry Council. Since the bill was first introduced last year, the ACC’s spending on lobbying shot through the roof, reaching a record $12.3 million in 2013 and $6 million during the first two quarters of 2014. The Council, a major lobbying force in the chemical industry, has clearly made proposed changes to TSCA a top priority, citing the bill in nine lobbying filings just this year. Also weighing in on the bill: Eastman Chemical, maker of the coal-washing agents that leaked into Elk River in January, leading to a cutoff in the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians.
  • AG: Bexar Co. must release hazardous chemical information
    AUSTIN – The Office of Attorney General Greg Abbott says Bexar County officials must release some information regarding hazardous chemical inventories, after local emergency planners refused to hand over the information to the Houston Chronicle. In a Sept. 16 public records ruling, Assistant Attorney General Lee Seidlits ruled local officials must release information on the types of potentially hazardous chemicals stored in facilities across the county. But the specific locations and amounts of the chemical stockpiles can continue to be withheld under homeland security laws, Seidlits added, in order to preserve public safety. “We recognize the public’s legitimate interest in obtaining information concerning hazardous substances stored in Texas communities,” wrote Seidlits. But he added, “the committee must withhold the information which would indicate the specific locations of the facilities at issue.”
  • Concerns over potential hazmat situation closes roads, causes delays
    CLEARFIELD, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Semi carrying fluoride is stuck on a slope in Clearfield Friday. Authorities are concerned about a spill and possible hazmat situation. According to emergency dispatch, tow trucks were on scene to stabilize the semi. Several roads were closed in the area. The incident was cleared and the roads reopened around 3:30 p.m. 
  • I-20 reopened after chemical spill
    Interstate-20 has reopened in Shreveport between Jewella an Hearne Avenues following a chemical spill this morning. At about 10 a.m. a double trailer from Old Dominion Freight Line was traveling westbound on I-20. The driver noticed that a chemical was leaking and pulled over at the Jewella exit near the State Fairgrounds. Shreveport Police and Shreveport Fire responded and immediately shut down all westbound traffic between Jewella and Hearne Avenues. Several homes north of the Interstate were also evacuated and Hazardous Materials team was called in. HAZMAT determined where the leak was coming from and Chief Louis Johnson with SFD says it was non-toxic. "We did identify the chemical, it was a corrosive, but it wasn't very acidic so it wasn't a dangerous chemical in that respect, so that was very good news for us," says Johnson. Residents were allowed to return to their homes but they were told to stay inside as an environmental clean-up company was called in. Westbound traffic re-opened early in the afternoon.
  • Uconn Classes Resume Thursday After Two Chemical Incidents Force Evacuations On Storrs Campus
    UConn Classes will be back in session on Thursday after a leaking cylinder prompted evacuations on Wednesday. The Torrey Life Sciences and Pharmacy/Biology buildings were evacuated. Two students had to be taken to the hospital Wednesday for treatment and evaluation after a lab accident. UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said the students mistakenly poured acetone into a receptacle that already contained a different chemical. The resulting chemical reaction caused irritation to their eyes, and both students followed procedure and went out of the lab to use the decontamination shower. The UConn fire department arrived and sealed off the fourth floor of the ITE Building and two classrooms on the third floor. They transported the students to Windham Hospital where they were evaluated and released. Other students who had walked through the puddles of the decontamination shower had their footwear cleaned of any resulting residue. Later in the day on Wednesday, UConn sent an alert to students that the Torrey Life Sciences Building and the Pharmacy/Biology Building at the Storrs campus were evacuated until further notice. “The UConn Fire Department is working with a vendor to contain a leak in a helium cylinder,” according to UConn. The two incidents appeared to be unrelated.
  • Chemical drum puncture in Northlake sends four to hospital
    A punctured chemical drum in the Union Pacific rail yard Thursday led to four people going to local hospitals. At 6:21 a.m., Sept 18, the Berkeley Fire Department got a call on their non-emergency line. While unloading a pallet with two 55-gallon barrels from a truck onto a warehouse dock, a forklift had punched a hole in it. They had leaking liquid. Berkeley firefighters headed to the rail yard, which is located in Northlake, Berkeley and Bellwood. The warehouse was located about a quarter to a half mile south of 317 Lake St. “There was a plume of acid smoke,” said interim Fire Chief Mike Dravo. “Their employees were trying to turn over the drum to stop the leak.” Dravo ordered everyone away and had firefighters put on hazardous materials gear. They put out a call to the divisional haz-mat team at 6:30 a.m. and other fire departments, including Northlake, Stone Park and Bellwood, showed up. The company called the shipper, which put a chemist on the phone with firefighters. He told them the chemical leaking from the barrel is called methoxypropylamine.
  • Chemical odor forces evacuations at Honoka'a schools
    HONOKA`A, Hawaii —Honoka'a Elementary, Intermediate and High School were evacuated Thursday and were closed for the day as a precaution due to a chemical odor, according to Big Island police. The Department of Education says students were sent home at around 10:45 a.m.  According to HAZMAT investigators, the odor was traced to a nearby resident who was using a mix of chemicals to spray his yard. School officials called fire crews at around 9 a.m.  About 40 students and 10 adults from Honoka'a High & Intermediate school who reported feeling symptoms of nausea, dizziness and respiratory problems were sent to nearby medical centers for treatment.  There were no reports of medical issues at Honoka'a Elementary, which is located across the street from the High & Intermediate school.
  • Video: Five hurt as Coventry's Pool Meadow bus station sealed off in chemical alert
    Five people have been injured after a suspected chemical leak at Pool Meadow Bus Station. Fire, police and ambulance crews were called to the Fairfax Street station in Coventry city centre after reports of a strong chemical smell coming from the public toilets. A man in his 60s was taken to hospital as a precaution and three others were treated for symptoms including sore throats and streaming eyes. The other affected person originally left the area, before being found and checked over. The station was sealed off for about four hours and buses were diverted while the emergency services investigate.
  • Hazmat call prompts Round Rock evacuation
    ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A Businesses in Round Rock’s Double Creek was evacuated due to a gas leak. The Perflurosuccinoyl fluroide has been contained to inside the building. Nearby businesses, schools and day cares are being asked to remain inside. At 8 a.m. Thursday, employees of Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing called 911 and reported they had difficulty breathing. Crews discovered the leak at Exfluor Research Corporation next door at 2350 Double Creek Drive. The Round Rock and Williamson County Hazardous Materials teams moved in to assess the situation. They’ve been monitoring the air around the building and at this point, officials do not believe the gas leak ever got outside of the building. Officials say they offloaded the gas into a separate container but a gaseous cloud remained inside the building.
  • Broken Valve Causes Warehouse Ammonia Leak
    Emergency crews responding to a hazmat situation in Avon, Massachusetts, Thursday night, say an ammonia leak was caused by a broken valve, the town's fire department confirmed. Avon Fire says it was a tier two hazmat situation; according to Mass.gov, a tier two hazmat situation is short term operation. Police say crews responded to the warehouse building in the area of Murphy Street. When officials arrived, they found a high concentration of ammonia inside the compressor room.
  • Crews respond to hazardous materials leak behind Lowe's in South Bend
    A semi trailer behind Lowe's, 250 West Ireland Road, is leaking sodium hydroxide from a 275-gallon container that was inside the trailer of the truck. That's according to an official with the South Bend Fire Department hazmat team.  Sodium hydroxide is mixed with detergents and can burn skin in concentrated form such as this. The substance was found leaking out of the bottom of the trailer Wednesday afternoon and has been contained in the storm drain behind Lowe's. A contractor is in the process of cleaning it up.
  • Arrest after chemical scare
    A woman was taken to hospital and a man arrested following a chemical scare in Richmond this afternoon. A 45-year-old man was seen walking along Queen St with a plastic bottle with an unknown liquid in it shortly before 3:40pm, Richmond Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Ralph Lonsdale said. As he was passing a "boutique" clothing store he threw some of the liquid on a rack of clothing. "Some of the clothes started to melt, some of the clothes started to drip like as if they were under intense heat," Lonsdale said. "It was no fire or anything, it was just all a chemical reaction." He said it wasn't yet known what the chemical was. The man involved has been arrested but no charges have been laid yet.
  • Officials: Chemical or gas sends three people to hospital
    BALTIMORE —Several people reported feeling ill at a building in northwest Baltimore. Baltimore City hazardous materials crews were called just after 6 p.m. Wednesday to the 4200 block of Patterson Avenue, where a building was evacuated. Fire officials said construction work was being done on the building and there was a release of some type of chemical or gas. Three people were taken to the hospital. One person was said to have potentially life-threatening injuries.
  • 9 decontaminated after chemical exposure at Wrens home
    Nine people, including two police officers and a firefighter, went through decontamination protocols and were taken to Jefferson Hospital. About 8:30 p.m. Monday, emergency workers responded to a call requesting assistance at a home on Airport Road in Wrens because of a strong odor from a chemical used earlier in the day. “Initial response by Wrens Fire Department and Wrens Police Department revealed that an unknown chemical had been used as an insecticide earlier in the afternoon and that the odor was getting stronger,” said Jim Anderson, Jefferson County’s emergency management director. “Initial responding officers reported a burning sensation to the throat and light dizziness at which time hazmat (hazardous materials) protocols were initiated for precautionary measures due to the chemical being unknown and an immediate evacuations of the residents was conducted.” Six people, all adults, in addition to the three emergency responders, were decontaminated on site using large amounts of water; exterior clothing was removed and they were taken by ambulance to the hospital.
  • 3 OSHA citations filed against Winston-Salem Fire Department
    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. —State labor officials fined the Winston-Salem Fire Department Tuesday following citations for three OSHA violations. The department was fined a total of $6,500 for two serious violations and one non-serious violation. The citations were corrected upon inspection, City of Winston-Salem officials said. The citations include a firefighting turnout jacket with torn velcro, improper language in bloodborne pathogen training policy and lack of documentation for a relatively new hazardous chemical training system. The damaged jacket has been taken out of service, and damage checks on firefighters' gear has been increased from monthly to daily, department officials said. The city can appeal the citations within 15 days. In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, city officials said they have yet to decide whether to pay the fines or appeal.
  • Chemical accident at UConn sends 2 to hospital
    STORRS, Conn. (AP) — A chemical accident at University of Connecticut sent two students to a hospital for evaluation and prompted the school to close a portion of one building for several hours. Spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz says the students were working in the Information Technologies and Engineering building at about 11 a.m. when they accidently disposed of some chemicals including acetone into a container that already contained other chemicals. She says that caused a flash reaction and released fumes. The students ran to a decontamination shower in the hallway, and were later transported to Windham Hospital. One suffered some eye irritation. Both were treated and released. She says eight other students underwent decontamination on campus after walking through the puddles in the hallway.
  • Investigator: Teacher In Lab Fire Untrained In Methanol Danger
    DENVER (AP) – A Denver teacher had no special training in the dangers of methanol before he conducted a demonstration in a school laboratory that resulted in a fire and injuries to three students, a federal investigator said Tuesday. The teacher was not aware of methanol’s potential for flash fires, said Mark Wingard, an investigator with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which looks into chemical accidents. Wingard said the teacher was demonstrating methanol’s burning properties, and when the flame did not rise as high as he expected, he added more methanol from a container holding four liters, or about a gallon. Wingard said a 4-foot-long flame then erupted and struck one student in the chest, causing serious injuries. The fire occurred Monday at the Science, Math and Arts Academy, a charter high school in southwestern Denver. School officials identified the teacher as Daniel Powell.
  • What Nottingham University fire means for timber-frame construction
    When fire ripped through a new laboratory at the University of Nottingham last week, it brought back an uncomfortable debate for firms about the risks associated with timber-frame buildings under construction. Fears about the construction method’s vulnerability to fire have been voiced for many years but the industry has taken steps to mitigate some of those worries. As main contractor on the £20m Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry, Morgan Sindall had carried out tests on regulating fire spread in the structure, which was built from engineered timber beams and cross-laminated timber panels. Fire investigation experts and insurance loss adjusters are investigating the blaze site. Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is working with the university and its contractors to investigate the cause and recover as much of the site as is possible.
  • Man dies six days after chemical blast
    The massive explosion at Ritterhude last Tuesday night damaged around 40 homes, destroyed the chemical plant and injured four people. The most serious injuries were sustained by a 60-year-old who worked for chemical company Organo Fluid. He was found on the site by emergency services the morning after the blast and taken to hospital. According to police he died overnight on Monday into Tuesday at a specialist clinic in Hanover.
  • Richland: More Hanford workers checked for chemical vapor exposure
    RICHLAND — Four Hanford workers were sent to the Hanford medical provider the morning of Sept. 15 after possible chemical vapors were smelled at Hanford’s SY Tank Farm. Three of the workers had symptoms consistent with vapor exposure. They were cleared to return to work later in the day. The fourth worker was sent to the medical provider as a precaution but declined an evaluation. Although the symptoms were not made public, typical vapor exposure symptoms are dizziness, headaches and shortness of breath. Workers are concerned that vapor exposure could lead to long-term medical issues. Two were inside the SY Tank Farm and two were nearby. Access to the tank farm has been restricted until samples are analyzed, according to Washington River Protection Solutions. The event brings the number of workers receiving medical evaluations for possible exposure to chemical vapors since spring to 47.
  • Chemical leak draws state fine
    A Houston-based energy company has been fined $5,000 by the state for allowing a pungent gas to escape last month from a gas pipeline terminal into surrounding Selkirk neighborhoods. Enterprise Terminals & Storage LLC agreed to the fine in connection with a leak of mercaptan — a chemical with a biting odor that is added to natural gas to help in leak detection — that happened Aug. 13 to 14 at 68 Maple Ave., according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Numerous residents complained about the smell — which is like rotten eggs — and town police and firefighters, as well as the county Health Department, were summoned to investigate, according to DEC records. Officials received "dozens of calls reporting strong mercaptan odors in surrounding neighborhoods."
  • Law enforcement investigating hazardous materials found in Hollister home
    The Hollister Police Department is investigating hazardous materials inside a home on the 2300 block of Glenview Drive. The Monterey County bomb squad was called to the scene and a hazardous materials team is now being called to help. Code enforcement says there are multiple laboratory chemicals inside the house. About 20 homes have been evacuated and the Red Cross is headed to the area to work with those displaced. According to police, officers responded to the home around 6:00 p.m. for a possible burglary. When they arrived, they found the hazardous materials inside. 
  • Home 'explosion' injures man in Robina
    Police believe there may have been an amphetamines drug lab inside a Gold Coast townhouse where a man was badly injured in an explosion Tuesday morning. The force of the explosion nearly blew the garage door off the Robina townhouse, leaving a 37-year-old man with severe burns. The police Illicit Laboratory Investigation Team was called in, after fire crews declared the scene safe about 11am. "The residence has been closed down pending a thorough examination," Detective Inspector Marc Hogan said. "At this time indications are that police will be managing a scene which does or has involved the likely production of dangerous drugs."
  • Chemistry lab fire at Strive Prep school sends 4 students to hospital with burn injuries
    DENVER - A chemistry teacher is on paid leave after four students were injured when an experiment went wrong at the Strive Prep School on the Lalo Delgado campus. "We are reviewing all of the safety policies and protocols as they relate to the science lab," said school spokeswoman Lindsay Neil. "We've suspended all science lab activity in our network of schools." The teacher was identified as first-year teacher Daniel Powell. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board tells 7NEWS: "The CSB will be sending two investigators over to the scene of the accident -- they should arrive on scene very shortly." Denver Fire spokesman Mark Watson said the students suffered burn injuries, and although he could not describe their conditions, he said any burn injury to the face or mouth area should be considered serious. Denver Health said three students were treated and released and the fourth had been transported to University Hospital because of the severity of his burns. Strive Prep School is a Denver Public Schools charter school located at 3201 West Arizona Avenue.  The Denver Fire Department received the call about the fire at 7:54 a.m. A 10th grade student, David Mathis, was in the classroom and told 7NEWS that the chemistry teacher was lighting methanol when it exploded. He said the fire extended up to the ceiling and out towards the back wall of the classroom, and all of the students who were hurt were sitting in the back of the room. "I only saw one of the students, but his skin was peeling off, and it looked like at least second-degree burns all over," said Mathis. "We were all just chaotic. We were trying to figure out what just happened. We just saw fire everywhere in the room, too, and we were just trying to put it out and help the students."
  • 92-year-old Turret man found dead in home with stockpile of explosives, chemicals
    TURRET, Colo. - An autopsy is scheduled Monday to determine what killed a 92-year-old Turret man who was found dead in his home, which was stocked with large amount of explosives. A friend found the body of Edwin Bartheld in Bartheld’s crawlspace on Friday, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said. It appeared that he had been dead for several days, the sheriff’s office said.  Initially, authorities suspected that he died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But now investigators believe he was killed when one of his homemade explosive devices accidentally detonated, the sheriff’s office said. The sheriff’s office said when they were called to the man’s home on Friday afternoon, they discovered a large cache of explosive devices and chemicals commonly used for manufacturing explosives. Detectives had to back out of the house and call for the Colorado Springs Regional Explosives Unit and two nearby HAZMAT teams to secure the scene. On Saturday, members of the bomb squad and HAZMAT teams  found large quantities of chemicals commonly used for manufacturing explosives, along with several homemade detonators and homemade explosives inside the house.  The explosives were removed and safely detonated by the bomb specialists while the HAZMAT team identified chemicals and mixtures to assure they were stable before they were removed from the house.