Stolthaven Chemical Facility in Plaquemines Parish reports a large release of multiple chemicals during Hurricane Isaac, and then reports that it isn’t sure how much, if any, was released.
Rail cars and storage tanks at Stolthaven Chemical Facility moved out of place by hurricane Isaac. 9-10-12
As reported earlier in the week, Hurricane Isaac caused significant damage to the Stolthaven Chemical Facility including damage to a large number of rail cars containing hazardous materials. The storm knocked chemical storage tanks off of their foundations, as can be seen in the above photo, and caused the facility to lose power for several days. Wednesday, Sept 12. 2012, an updated assessment of the chemicals spilled during Hurricane Isaac was reported to the National Response Center(NRC). The chemicals and amounts were reported as the following:
ETHYLENE GLYCOL 822
OIL, MISC: LUBRICATING 9474
TETRAETHYL LEAD 5.1
XYLENE (O-, M-, P-, & MIXTURES) 973.1
In a report to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality dated Sept. 11, 2012, Stolthaven outlines the release of two other materials:
Ultra-S4 and Vivatec consist of paraffinic petroleum distillates
The Stolthaven Facility experienced 10-14 feet of flooding during Hurricane Isaac allowing for the possibility of much of these chemicals to move off site with the flood waters. At the time of this report, remediation activities were said to be underway within the facility. Many of these chemicals are highly toxic and can pose a significant threat to human health. Residents returning to the areas surrounding the Stolthaven facility should take the necessary precautions to protect themselves while cleaning up their homes and property that may have come in contact with contaminated flood waters.
On Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, Stolthaven released a “correction to report 1024157.” Stating: “Report 1024157 mistakenly reported a release of materials, when it was uncertain if any materials had actually released. Quantities provided in original report only represented the storage tank inventories. Flooding During Hurricane Isaac may have caused leaks in storage tanks at the facility. It is currently unknown whether any release has occurred.” See the full NRC report here. This report comes days after Stolthaven submitted the initial NRC report that stated: “remediation is ongoing at this time.” In a photo from an article yesterday, Sept. 13, 2012, by Mark Schleifstein of the Times Picayune, workers can be seen wearing protective gear and spraying liquid on material that appears to have leaked from the storage tanks.
Workers at Stolthaven Chemical Facility on Sept. 13, 2012 by David Grunfeld, The TImes Picayune
Railcars at Stolthaven Chemical Facility, many containing hazardous materials, are being put back onto the tracks after being pushed around by Hurricane Isaac. 9-10-12
See photos from the aerial patrol on September 10, 2012 here:
Special thanks to SouthWings for the flight and Jeffrey Dubinsky for the amazing photos!