Recent Chemical Incidents

On average, there is a chemical fire, explosion or toxic release every two days in the U.S. Check the map above to see whether there has been a chemical incident reported in your area since June 1, 2021. Some incidents tracked in this inventory do not appear on the map, due to lack of available information on their exact location.  

The EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) rule regulates around 12,000 facilities in the U.S. that use or store highly hazardous chemicals, and is intended to prevent chemical disasters. But chemical incidents including fires, explosions and toxic releases are occurring far too frequently every year, harming workers and communities. 

According to EPA data, 150 serious incidents at RMP facilities occur each year in the U.S. on average. But this does not include the fires, releases, and explosions that occur with regularity at facilities not covered by the RMP, or incidents involving hazardous materials being transported by rail or highway. The Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters has maintained an incident database, sourced from news, industry and government reports, since April 2020, which you can find below. This database and map are both updated weekly.

Weak EPA regulations failed to prevent 177 chemical incidents in 2021, 186 chemical incidents in 2022, and over 100 incidents this year and counting.  

On August 19, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention (SCCAP) rule, which made long-awaited revisions to the RMP rule. But over 100 organizations have urged the EPA to further strengthen its proposal in key ways “to fully satisfy the law and the agency’s core commitments on environmental justice, worker safety, and climate change.” 

Methodology: The incidents tracked on the map and incident list are curated from daily media reports of incidents involving hazardous or toxic chemicals in the U.S., which are then investigated for more details including locations and ownership of the relevant facility or hazardous materials in transport. Chemical incidents include fires, hazardous chemical releases, explosions, and any incident that triggers an evacuation, shelter in place warning, or causes injuries or deaths. The map does not include incidents where the precise locations can not be identified with the available information at the time of the incident. When a hurricane or power outage affects multiple facilities that use or store hazardous chemicals, this event is counted as a single incident unless  media or government reports identify specific facilities where incidents took place.

  • Organic peroxide leak, evacuations, truck on I-24, Chattanooga, Tennessee

    September 20, 2023
    A FedEx driver alerted authorities after he discovered fluid leaking from his truck. The truck was reported to be carrying a variety of chemical totes. Officials evacuated 38 homes, an apartment building, and a nearby recreation center. They also closed I-24 in both directions while hazardous material crews responded.

  • Fire, Denny’s Manufacturing photo backdrop plant, Prichard, Alaska

    September 19, 2023
    A three-alarm blaze broke out at a facility that produces backdrops and props for photo shoots. Officials were concerned due to the chemicals, paints and oils stored in the building. The fire reached two of the three buildings at the site.

  • Sulfuric acid spill from tanker truck, shelter in place, US-23, Fenton, Michigan

    September 19, 2023
    A tanker carrying sulfuric acid overturned on US Highway 23. Officials closed roads and advised residents within 2000 feet to shut windows and vents. According to the Centers for Disease Control, sulfuric acid “is a corrosive substance, destructive to the skin, eyes, teeth, and lungs. Severe exposure can result in death.”

  • Explosion/Fire, Avail Surplus Metals recycling facility, El Paso Texas

    September 19, 2023
    An explosion and fire at a metal recycling plant sent huge plumes of thick black smoke through residential areas. Authorities urged residents to evacuate; however, a lingering cloud caused concerns for many. “There’s always concerns of heavy smoke with this magnitude, carcinogens are everywhere; of course, we take our precautions with air packs but as for the public there’s really not a lot we can do,” said El Paso Emergency Services Chief Roger Esparza. The chief urged locals to wear masks.

  • Fire, Terra-Gen battery storage facility, Valley Center, California

    September 18, 2023
    A fire erupted at a lithium battery storage facility. Officials closed roads and ordered evacuations for those within a quarter of a mile and shelter in place for those within a half mile. “The emergency measures were issued due to the inherent risks associated with lithium batteries, which can heat up quickly and cause fire and chemicals to spread rapidly to each other or nearby buildings.” This was the second fire at the location. The first was in April 2022.

  • Explosion, fire, Radius Recycling (formerly Schnitzer Steel), Columbus, Georgia

    September 17, 2023
    A massive explosion and fire at a recycling facility caused homes to shake and created flames that could be seen for miles. Firefighters used foam to get the conflagration under control. Radius Recycling specializes in metal shredding and recycling.

  • Hydrochloric acid spill, mandatory evacuations, Florida East Coast Railway, Jacksonville, Florida

    September 17, 2023
    A tanker railcar carrying 30,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid was reported to be leaking in the Florida East Coast (FEC) train yard. Firefighters reported seeing a cloud coming from the leak. Local residents and businesses in the area were under mandatory evacuations, due to the highly toxic nature of the chemical.

  • Fire, Metalico recycling facility, Emsworth, Pennsylvania

    September 16, 2023
    A fire at the recycling center left local residents fearing about air quality. “It smelled like burning rubber and plastic,” one resident complained. The latest fire is part of a series of ongoing incidents at the facility, which specializes in recycling vehicles. After a camera and air monitor were installed by Allegheny County Clean Air Now (ACCAN) in a residential yard in 2018, more than 300 incidents have been recorded.

  • Chemical leak, shelter in place, AdvanSix plastics factory, Hopewell, Virginia

    September 15, 2023
    AdvanSix reported a leak of oleum, a toxic chemical which can cause skin, eye, throat and respiratory irritations. A shelter in place was put into effect. The incident was the third chemical leak at the facility in 2023. In March the company reported an oleum leak and in June an ammonia leak. US Rep. Jennifer McClellen, whose Virginia district encompasses the AdvanSix plant said, “I am incredibly frustrated with the runaround my staff and I have received from AdvanSix. The company has displayed a concerning pattern of Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act violations and has yet to offer additional information or take action to prevent future violations.” AdvanSix produces caprolactam, the primary feedstock for nylon-6.

  • Railcar explosion, evacuations, Union Pacific Railroad, North Platte, Nebraska

    September 14, 2023
    A railcar carrying perchloric acid exploded causing “heavy toxic smoke” and resulting in evacuations in a one mile radius of the rail yard and closure of a local road. According to, “The fire spread no further than the container on top of the unit suffering the explosion. For this reason, local fire officials do not anticipate any continued issues with contamination. The fire largely burned off the acid inside the shipping container and any residue was contained at the scene.” Perchloric acid is used in explosives and biocidal products.

  • Fire, Reaxis Specialty Chemical, McDonald, Pennsylvania

    September 13, 2023
    A 1,000 tank containing hydrochloric acid mixed with another unnamed chemical. The vapors from the mixture caught fire, releasing heavy smoke. “When you go to a chemical fire, it’s a lot different than a house fire – the tactics and the thinking of putting it out. You take your time and figure it out,” said McDonald Fire Department Chief Doug Cooper. Reaxis makes and processes catalysts used in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics, adhesives and sealants. Reaxis is considered to be a key player in the tin catalyst market.

  • Fire, shelter in place, Tissue Depot recycled paper mill, Cheboygan, Wisconsin

    September 13, 2023
    A fire at a recycled paper mill caused authorities to issue shelter in place orders for nearby businesses and residents. The fire was believed to have involved “several tons of plastic” as well as roofing materials that potentially contained asbestos. Schools were also shut down for the day and local roads were closed. After crews got the fire under control, local residents were advised not to take on any activities that would raise dust from the fire into the air and wipe their feet, and their pets’ feet while coming in from outdoors. The Tissue Depot produces recycled tissue and paper towel products.

  • Chemical spill, Nippon Paint Plant, Cleveland, Ohio

    September 5, 2023
    Local roads were closed as hazardous material crews addressed the spillage of an unnamed chemical. Nippon Paint makes paint, coatings and sealants for the automotive industry.

  • Fire, evacuation, BASF TotalEnergies Petrochemicals refinery, Port Arthur, Texas

    September 5, 2023
    A massive fire at a petrochemical plant caused the collapse of a tower and evacuations of the facility as well as the nearby AMF Materials and Services truck repair company. The fire started in a pyrolysis gasoline unit at the refinery. The factory, which also includes a gas cracker, produces basic petrochemicals including ethylene, propylene, benzene, butadiene, and toluene. It remained closed a week after the fire.

  • Hydrochloric acid spill on road near school, Temecula, California

    September 1, 2023
    A truck carrying hydrochloric acid pool chemicals spilled about 275 gallons on a road near a High School and the Pechanga Reservation. Officials evacuated the school and issued shelter-in-place for local residents. Hydrochloric acid is used for lowering pH levels and removing algae in pools. Exposure to hydrochloric acid can cause respiratory distress and skin irritation.

  • Ethyl acrylate release, Lubrizol Advanced Materials plastics plant, Avon Lake, Ohio

    August 29, 2023
    An odor wafting through the community was traced back to a gasket leak of ethyl acrylate from the Lubrizol plant. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, ethyl acrylate should be handled as a carcinogen and breathing vapors can cause lung irritations and prolonged exposure can cause a build-up of fluids in the lungs. Lubrizol manufactures a variety of polyurethane and acrylic products in Avon Lake.

  • Fire, Solvchem Inc. chemical warehouse, Pearland, Texas

    August 28, 2023
    Two shipping containers holding lubricant additives caught fire outside a chemical distribution center. Heavy smoke, residuals, and runoff ensued. A hazardous materials team responded. Solchem sells specialized lubricants and chemicals to a wide range of industries, including electronics, military, food & beverage and pharmaceuticals.

  • Fire, Scott Plastics recycling facility, Newport, Tennessee

    August 28, 2023
    A fire at a recycling company completely destroyed the building. Fire crews were on the scene for two days. According to the company’s website, “We specialize in the collection and disposal of PC Equipment (including systems, laptops, peripheral devices, components and cables), Televisions, Monitors, Home Electronics and Metals.” According to the University of Washington College of Engineering the burning of e-waste releases numerous hazards into the environment, including dioxins, lead, arsenic and other heavy metals, as well as flame retardants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).

  • Naphtha leak and fire, Marathon Petroleum refinery, Garyville, Louisiana

    August 25, 2023
    A naphtha leak led to a fire at an oil refinery on the Mississippi River. Parish officials issued an emergency declaration and ordered people within two miles to evacuate. First responders contained the fire after several hours. Naphtha is a carcinogenic petrochemical. On February 21, 2022, a massive explosion injured six people at this refinery. The Garyville facility has a refining capacity of 578,000 barrels of crude oil a day, according to the company’s website.

  • Ammonia leak, US Foods, Charlotte, North Carolina

    August 24, 2023
    A leak of anhydrous ammonia at the food distribution center was brought under control by hazardous materials crews. The chemical is used as a refrigerant in the food industry. US Foods distributes food to hospitals, restaurants and schools.

  • Ammonia leak, shelter-in-place, Thompson Meat Packers, Slidell, Louisiana

    August 24, 2023
    Officials evacuated a meatpacking operation after a strong odor of ammonia was detected. They issued a shelter-in-place for a mile radius. Water curtains were used to capture the vapors being released from a faulty valve.

  • Propane and fuel oil leaks, evacuations, Cenovus Energy refinery, Superior, Wisconsin

    August 23 and 24, 2023
    Two leaks in two days occurred at a newly revived crude oil refinery, Husky Energy. The refinery had been closed since an explosion and fire in April 2018. (CSB Investigation) Cenovus Energy is the parent company of Husky. “I believe this community has earned the right to expect a very, very high standard of safety and effectiveness,” said Mayor Jim Paine. "There was a significant release that did happen. And that is unacceptable. There was another accident today. And that is unacceptable.”

  • Fire, 111 Salvage recycling yard, Madison, Illinois

    August 20, 2023
    An auto salvage yard fire released thick black smoke plumes visible for miles. According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group “Smoke from vehicle fires contains toxic chemicals that will kill you.” Those chemicals include benzene, toluene and difluoromethane, among others.

  • Chemical fire, American Plant Food, Barlett, Texas

    August 20, 2023
    A massive fire at a fertilizer plant was allowed to burn itself out because of concerns about the reactivity of the chemicals with water. Officials opened a local school for residents within a quarter-mile of the facility who wished to voluntarily evacuate.

  • Chemical spill, General Motors Ultium Cells EV battery plant, Warren, Ohio

    August 19, 2023
    A spill of highly toxic solvent containing n-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) caused a battery factory to halt operations and notify Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials. Ultium Cells is a joint-venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions which produces batteries for electric vehicles.

  • Chemical odor, evacuations, Pace Analytical, Greensburg, Pennsylvania

    August 17, 2023
    An unidentified chemical smell led to an evacuation of an environmental testing laboratory. Several employees were examined for headaches.

  • Hydrochloric acid spill, two injured, evacuations, Midland, Texas

    August 14, 2023
    Homes and businesses a half-mile downwind from the facility were told to evacuate after a spill of hydrochloric acid sent two workers to the hospital. County officials did not name the company involved. There are several oilfield service companies in the vicinity.

  • Fire, EMR Southern Recycling, Pensacola, Florida

    August 13, 2023
    Thick black smoke was reported bellowing from a vehicle and appliance scrap recycling facility, leading officials to respond with a fire boat and other fire crews.

  • Explosion, fire, shelter-in-place, Olympia Fruit, Moxee, Washington

    August 12, 2023
    A “presumed” propane explosion set off a fire at a fruit packing company. Concerns over leaks of anhydrous ammonia led officials to order people to shelter-in-place within a mile radius of the factory. Ammonia is used in cooling and refrigeration in the food industry.

  • Fire, Bay State Shredding, Brockton, Massachusetts

    August 11, 2023
    A fire in a scrap recycling facility brought out a state hazardous materials response team. “‘It’s an assorted amount of debris. This is a scrap yard recycling center. It’s unknown exactly what is burning. We do have the state hazmat team on the scene right now, and they'll be doing air monitoring looking for any hazardous smoke,” said Chief Brian Nardelli.

  • Fire, Waste Management recycling center, Houston, Texas

    August 11, 2023
    A fire at the “Clay Recycling Center” run by Waste Management quickly spread throughout the entire facility and into a parking lot where 18-wheelers were reported to be engulfed in flames. Hazardous materials crews responded. Reporters witnessed a chemical-like odor in the air, but authorities claimed air quality was unconcerning.

  • Explosion, fire, RMC Industrial / JMTR Holdings oil and plastics recycling facility, Glendale, Arizona

    August 11, 2023
    A massive fire at a plastic and oil waste recycling facility began when a tanker truck full of vegetable oil exploded. The fire expanded to piles of plastic and affected power lines which led officials to issue a second-alarm hazmat situation. The entire block was leveled. Local reports did not name the owners of the operation. However, public records show that at least some of the block is owned by JMTR Holdings. Tom Randl, manager of JMTR Holdings, is principal at RMC Industrial, a plastics recycling company. The city of Glendale claimed, “While the odor from the fire is still detected, the air samples continue to be safe.”

  • Nitric/phosphoric acid leak, evacuation, shelter-in-place, ChemStation chemical factory, Downington, Pennsylvania

    August 10, 2023
    Between 300 to 500 gallons of a mixture of nitric acid and phosphoric acid leaked in a chemical factory and produced a vapor cloud. A nearby school was evacuated. Residents in a one-mile radius were advised to shelter-in-place. ChemStation produces industrial cleaning chemicals.

  • Fire, Radius Recycling (formerly Schnitzer Steel), Oakland, California

    August 9, 2023
    A fire at a steel recycling plant caused a massive amount of smoke to billow into Oakland, San Leandro, Fremont and Alameda. The EPA recommended that residents close windows and doors as a precaution. In 2021, Schnitzer was ordered to pay a $4.1 million fine for illegal waste and air emissions.

  • Chemical leak, five injured, Viking Chemical chemical factory, Rockford, Illinois

    August 9, 2023
    A leak of an unnamed chemical reportedly injured five people, two of whom were hospitalized. Firefighters reported a “plume of chemicals” coming from the facility. Neighbors said they smelled chlorine or bleach in the air. Viking Chemical produces industrial chemicals for a variety of industries.

  • Cooling chemical leak affects 21 people, biotech lab, Redwood City, California

    August 7, 2023
    A leak of “freon” from an HVAC system operating in a “clean room” caused nausea and bloody noses for 21 employees. Although the facility was unnamed in news reports, the street is home to Karius biotechnology lab. Freon is a trade name for fluorocarbon refrigerants.

  • Chemical leak, evacuations, Bunge food processing plant, Decatur, Illinois

    August 7, 2023
    A chemical mixing incident at a food processing plant caused an accidental release of gas. Residents living within a quarter-mile radius were advised to evacuate their homes One person was taken to the hospital with skin irritations. Bunge processes soybeans for use in agricultural purposes.

  • Massive fire, multiple explosions, one injury, Sherwin Williams paint factory, Garland, Texas.

    August 7, 2023
    An employee was treated on scene after an explosion rocked a paint factory and the surrounding community. A massive fire lit up the sky. Local news reported: "All you see is the sky just keeps lighting up this bright fiery red orange, it was scary," said one witness. "You could smell it. If you know what paint smells like when you paint a house -- that was what it smelled like."

  • Fire, toxic smoke, Atkore United Poly Systems plastics factory, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    August 6, 2023
    A massive fire at a plastics factory caused officials to issue a health alert for the area near the plant. “This smoke is unhealthy for everyone, and people should limit outdoor activity tonight in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.” United Poly Systems produces polyethylene conduits, pipes and tubes for electrical, power and telecommunications industries.

  • Chemical spill, shelter-in-place, wastewater treatment plant, Louisville, Kentucky

    August 5, 2023
    A spill of peracetic acid at a wastewater treatment facility led officials to notify residents of 50 nearby homes that they should shelter-in-place. All lanes of Interstate 264 were shut down while hazardous materials crews addressed the incident.

  • Ammonia leak, one injury, Tyson Foods distribution center, Macon, Georgia

    August 3, 2023
    An ammonia leak at a meat product distribution center caused an evacuation of the building. According to a CNN investigation. “Tyson reported 146 ammonia leak-related injuries between 2012 and 2021” at all its US facilities.

  • Massive tanker truck chemical spill, fire, evacuations, Chattanooga, Tennessee

    August 3, 2023
    A tanker truck carrying organic peroxide and sodium hydroxide caught fire forcing nearby residents in a half mile radius to evacuate and causing officials to shut down parts of Interstate 24. In addition to the truck fire chemicals that had spilled in a parking lot also caught fire. The chemicals involved in the fire are skin and respiratory irritants.

  • Chemical leak, Blue Grass Chemical Specialties chemical factory, New Albany, Indiana

    August 3, 2023
    For the third time in one year, chemicals leaked from a toll chemical facility. A large plume of noxious yellow smoke led officials to evacuate the building and issue a shelter in place for residents downwind of the plant. The current leak was of oxides of nitrogen. In June and March of 2023, nitrates leaked from the building. Blue Grass formulates and produces a wide range of chemical products for other companies.

  • Fire, Tito’s Metal recycling facility, San Diego, California

    August 3, 2023
    A fire at a metal recycling facility burned for eight hours and took 15 fire trucks to control. The fire engulfed old vehicles, metal and other debris.

  • Hazardous material spill, four injured, Omaha Public Works wastewater treatment plant, Omaha, Nebraska

    August 3, 2023
    A fuel pump at a wastewater treatment plant leaked and mixed with bleach, creating a toxic cloud of chlorine. Four people were treated at a wastewater treatment plant, and three were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

  • Chemical odor, two hospitalized, unnamed commercial building, Chatsworth, California

    July 31, 2023
    An estimated 100 people were evacuated from a commercial building in the 9600 block of North De Soto Street after a chemical smell left people reporting unspecified medical complaints. Two people were transported to hospitals. A cosmetics company and auto shops are on the block.

  • Fire, Green Recycling, Houston, Texas

    July 27, 2023
    A fire at an auto scrap processing and distribution center involved tires, batteries, gas tanks and auto parts. It sent up a large plume of black smoke.

  • Ammonia leak, shelter-in-place, Home City Ice, Chicago, Illinois

    July 27, 2023
    A visible cloud of ammonia was released. The chemical’s strong smell filled the streets after an unknown event caused a leak in a valve at the ice manufacturing and packaging company. Officials shut down streets and issued shelter-in-place advisories. Home City Ice is owned by the Sedler family.

  • Chemical spill, TigHitco Aerospace, Berlin, Connecticut

    July 25, 2023
    After an unnamed chemical was spilled the aerospace plant was evacuated and 27 employees were treated for minor injuries. TigHitco, part of the InterTech Group, produces components for the aerospace and defense industries.

  • Explosion, two injured, Thatcher Chemical Company, Salt Lake City, Utah

    July 25, 2023
    Two employees were injured when a chemical tank exploded. It was not reported what chemicals the tank contained. The employees suffered minor injuries and there was damage to the building. Thatcher Chemical, a subsidiary of the privately-held Thatcher Group, manufactures and distributes chemicals for the food, pharmaceutical, water treatment and transportation industries. The facility has been cited numerous times by the EPA and OSHA for violations including: a 2019 sulfur dioxide leak that affected 56 workers; and, a $300,415 fine in 2019 for distributing unregistered pesticides.

  • Chemical dust release, Martinez Refinery, Martinez, California

    July 23, 2023
    For the second time in less than two weeks there was a release of potentially toxic coke dust from a refinery owned by PBF Energy. The Martinez Refinery experienced a similar incident on July 11th as well as a major release of 20 to 24 tons of spent catalysts. The catalysts contained aluminum, chromium, barium, nickel, vanadium and zinc. Catalyst dust coated residents’ cars and lawns in November 2022.

  • Ammonia leak, evacuation, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Cincinnati, Ohio

    July 22, 2023
    An ammonia leak at a Coca-Cola bottling plant caused employees to evacuate to nearby buildings.

  • Chemical release, BASF, Chattanooga, Tennessee

    July 21, 2023
    The Chattanooga Fire Department reported the release of an unnamed chemical at the facility owned by BASF. The Fire Department’s Special Operations Unit and Hazardous Materials teams addressed the spill.

  • Fire, evacuations, Bill’s Propane Service, Phoenix, Arizona

    July 20, 2023
    A fire at a propane tank service facility sent propane tanks hurtling 500 yards into the air. “They literally become missiles,” Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade said. “Very dangerous situation.” Homes and businesses near the facility were ordered to evacuate. Falling propane tanks and fire damage affected dozens of vehicles. More than 150 firefighters responded.

  • Oil well fire, explosion, two injured Devon Energy, New Town, North Dakota

    July 18, 2023
    A fire at an oil well pad owned by Devon Energy injured two workers. The pad is a half mile from a residential community. Parts of State Highway 23 were shut down.

  • Anhydrous ammonia leak, shelter-in-place, Home City Ice, Decatur, Illinois

    July 18, 2023
    A leak of anhydrous ammonia led to the evacuation of a packaged ice factory. Two nearby businesses were advised to shelter-in-place while a hazardous materials response unit addressed the leak and ventilated the building. Anhydrous ammonia is used in refrigeration.

  • Campers exposed to crop dusting chemicals, Summit Grove Campground, New Freedom, Pennsylvania

    July 18, 2023
    Sixty campers and 12 staff were exposed to a fungicide, veltyma, when a crop dusting plane sprayed a cornfield adjacent to the adventure camp. Counselors brought the children indoors and called 911. The children were also advised to shower and change clothes. Veltyma, produced by BASF, can cause skin irritation and is highly toxic to aquatic life. One of the components of this mixture, pyraclostrobin, is toxic if inhaled according to the European Union.

  • Fire, National Iron & Metals LLC, Katy, Texas

    July 15, 2023
    A fire at a massive scrap metal recycling facility sent thick black smoke into the community of Katy. The recycling center accepts electronics, plastic and vehicle scrap metals from consumers and industrial clients.

  • Fire, explosions, Dow Chemical, Plaquemine, Louisiana

    July 15, 2023
    A series of explosions struck Dow Chemicals’ Plaquemine, Louisiana, complex, following a fire in its ethylene oxide unit. The explosions rattled homes 15 miles away in Baton Rouge. Thick black smoke and flames could be seen coming from the facility. The Dow chemical complex produces ethylene, propylene, propylene oxide, ethylene glycol, many other chemicals, and polyethylene plastic resins. The facility was the site of a massive chlorine leak in April 2022 at Olin’s chlor-alkali plant, which operates with the complex.

  • Petrochemical pipeline fire, Ineos plastics factory, Alvin, Texas

    July 13, 2023
    A massive fire broke out in a gas liquids pipeline at Ineos’ plastics plant. Ineos’ Chocolate Bayou complex converts the gas liquids into polypropylene and other plastic resins. A cracked valve was suspected to have caused the leak.

  • Fire, Tristar Packaging, Humble, Texas

    July 12, 2023
    A massive fire at the plastic bag factory, resulted in the release of an unknown amount of plastic waste into the environment. The fire destroyed the facility. “Fire officials in Humble estimate tens of thousands of tiny plastic beads were released, with many floating into storm sewer drains,” reported “These plastic beads are as small as a grain of rice, which can make it difficult to see on the ground and in the air.”

  • Chemical dust release, Martinez Refinery, Martinez, California

    July 11, 2023
    A refinery released chemical dust for a minute; the cloud of unidentified dust spread into a residential neighborhood. Company officials did not report on the incident until two hours after it occurred. In November 2022, the refinery spewed out spent catalysts for several hours leaving residents with dust residues in their yards and on their cars. Residents were later advised not to eat produce grown in the community until testing was done on potential heavy metals in the soil.

  • Lightning strike on crude oil tank, fire, Perdido Energy, Cheneyville, Louisiana

    July 9, 2023
    A crude oil tank was struck by lightning, setting off an hours-long effort by several fire departments to get the situation under control. Residents within a half-mile radius of the incident were evacuated. Officials decided to let the contained fire burn itself out throughout the night.

  • Explosion, fire, Ringneck Energy, Onida, South Dakota

    July 9, 2023
    A massive explosion and subsequent fire caused significant damage to an ethanol processing plant. Six employees who were in the building during the incident escaped unharmed. Officials requested that people stay away from the factory and closed part of Highway 83.

  • Fire, Flamin’ Finishes Swimming Pool Coatings, Fort Worth, Texas

    July 6, 2023
    A warehouse containing swimming pool chemicals caught fire. Officials evacuated a nearby house. One person also suffered from smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital. Flamin’ Finishes specializes in installing and refinishing pools and hot tubs.

  • Fire, Lanning Chemical distribution center, Louisville, Kentucky

    July 6, 2023
    Fire engulfed a two story structure that housed chemicals used to produce paints, varnishes, and finishes. Nearby residents were advised to close windows and shutdown air conditioners.

  • Herbicide spill from motor vehicle accident, evacuations, Bloomfield, New Mexico

    July 5, 2023
    Roadways were shut down and local homes and businesses within a half mile were evacuated after 300 gallons of an herbicide were leaked onto a road after a motor vehicle accident.

  • Fire, 3M adhesives factory, Springfield, Missouri

    July 4, 2023
    The building was evacuated after a fire broke out. Hazardous materials incident crews were called in due to the nature of the factory, which makes adhesives, adhesive coated films, and sealants.

  • Fire, Sims Recycling, Sacramento, California

    July 4, 2023
    A scrap recycling facility caught fire. Flames reached 50 feet high. The facility already was designated as a clean up facility by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control due to the presence of toxic chemicals including PCBs. The Sims recycling facility processes vehicles and appliances and other scrap metals.

  • Ammonia leak, Leddy Park Arena, Burlington, Vermont

    July 1, 2023
    A problem with an ice rink compressor caused a leak of ammonia and oil, which set off alarms in the building. The rink was evacuated while the building was decontaminated and ventilated.

  • Chemical release, four injured, US Engine Valve, Westminster, South Carolina

    June 30, 2023
    A release of what was reported to be quenching salt injured four employees, one of whom was airlifted to the hospital. Molten salts are used to address temperature control and curing in the treatment of metals. US Engine Valve produces valves for the automotive industry, according to the company’s website.

  • Nitric acid spill, evacuations, Milk Specialties, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

    June 30, 2023
    A hose from a truck offloading nitric acid to the facility failed. The chemical sprayed onto barrels of animal by-products and surfactants, which produced a violent explosion. The building was evacuated and several streets were closed while hazardous materials crews neutralized the situation and ventilated the building. Milk Specialties produces protein and dairy products.

  • Chlorine leak, evacuations, Eldridge Water Plant, Eldridge, Iowa

    June 28, 2023
    After an employee detected a leak of chlorine at a water treatment plant, the building was evacuated along with residential homes along several streets.

  • Ammonia leak, shelter-in-place, AdvanSix plastics factory, Hopewell, Virginia

    June 28, 2023
    A nylon factory owned by AdvanSix leaked an estimated 1,500 and 1,700 pounds of ammonia. Workers in the AdvanSix facility as well as those in nearby Ashland Specialty Ingredients and WestRock Packaging plants were advised to shelter-in-place. The leak set off warning sirens that concerned local residents. “It’s scary, I mean, considering you’re so close to human population and the animal population,” one local resident reported. The facility was under scrutiny earlier in 2023 with the Richmond Times-Dispatch reporting 66 violations of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act in the previous 8 years.

  • Trivalent chromium wastewater release, Boeing Company aircraft parts factory, Hazelwood, Missouri

    June 27, 2023
    Approximately 1,000 gallons of wastewater containing trivalent chromium were released from the company’s wastewater treatment facility into Coldwater Creek, a tributary of the Missouri River. Coldwater Creek has long been contaminated with radioactive wastes left behind from the development of nuclear weapons during World War II known as the Manhattan Project. “Reports have shown an elevated rate of cancer in people living in the eight ZIP codes around the creek compared to the rest of Missouri.” In May 2023, Boeing announced that it would close the aircraft parts manufacturing plant by the end of the year.

  • Fire, Macks’ Twin City Recycling facility, Urbana, Illinois

    June 27, 2023
    It took six fire departments to extinguish a fire in a storage shed at an electronics and metal recycling business. The shed was reported to have stored flammable products such as propane.

  • Sulfur dioxide leak, shelter-in-place, Marathon Petroleum refinery, Texas City, Texas

    June 27, 2023
    An incinerator at Marathon’s refinery leaked 1,300 pounds of sulfur dioxide. Officials issued a shelter-in-place for the surrounding community. Outdoor activities for summer schools and camps were canceled. However, some residents chose to ignore the advisory. “It happens from time to time if there is any kind of chemical spill or anything like that comes around. This is just what happens. It's kind of normal," one resident reported. The refinery was the site of a fire in May 2023 that resulted in the death of one employee.

  • Ammonia nitrate spill from truck, Interstate 81, Hagerstown, Maryland

    June 26, 2023
    A tanker truck carrying highly explosive ammonium nitrate overturned on Interstate 81 causing authorities to issue evacuation orders for nearby businesses. It was reported that about three gallons of the chemical spilled. "Although it is not technically classified as an explosive or flammable material, under certain conditions, ammonium nitrate can present a significant explosive threat because it is an oxidizer — an oxygen-rich compound that can accelerate fires or explosions," according to a fact sheet by the National Fire Protection Association.

  • Power outage from storm causes excessive refinery gas release, BP Whiting refinery, Whiting, Indiana

    June 25, 2023
    After complaints from hundreds of local residents regarding a strange odor, it was discovered that the source l was excessive gas releases from flaring at the refinery after a severe storm knocked out power to part of the plant. The gases released - sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide - were reported to be “outside permissible levels.” In May 2023, BP paid a $40 million fine and agreed to spend $200 million on pollution control equipment at the Whiting refinery after EPA found it to be in violation of the Clean Air Act.

  • Train derailment/bridge collapse causes hot asphalt, molten sulfur release into Yellowstone River, Yellowstone River Twin Bridges, Montana

    June 23, 2023
    A train crossing the Yellowstone River Twin Bridges derailed. Contents of seven cars spilled into the river. Three of the tankers carried hot asphalt and four held molten sulfur. Two cars that carried sodium hydro sulfate were safely removed from the situation without leakage. Officials were uncertain as to whether the train derailment caused the bridge to collapse or the bridge collapse caused the derailment.

  • Phosphorus release, Lanxess chemicals factory, Charleston, South Carolina

    June 23, 2023
    Alarms alerted officials to the release of phosphorus from a pipe at the flame retardant and pesticides factory. A subsequent fire was extinguished. According to the Post and Courier, “The site has had a number of prior violations and safety hazards. A chemical leak and fire in 2019 had nearby residents taking shelter and shut down part of the road and Interstate 26, officials said. In 1991, an explosion at the plant, previously owned by the Albright & Wilson, killed nine people, injured dozens of others and sent chemicals into surrounding neighborhoods.”

  • Aluminum chloride explosion, one fatality, Darling Ingredients, Wadesboro, North Carolina

    June 22, 2023
    Approximately 20 to 25 gallons of an aluminum chloride solution exploded and killed one worker. The plant was shut down while an investigation was conducted. Darling Ingredient Wadesboro plant produces animal feed.

  • Hydrochloric acid leak from truck, evacuations, US 77 Robstown/Riviera, Texas

    June 22, 2023
    A tanker truck spilled an estimated 50 gallons of hydrochloric acid along US 77 until other drivers alerted the operator. The leak was initially noted in Robstown, Texas, and was finally halted 38 miles away in Riviera Texas. A local store was evacuated and a nearby hotel was advised to shelter in place. The hydrochloric acid was reported to be bound for Benevides, Texas for use in oilfields.

  • Styrene leak from truck, Interstate 75, Alachua, Florida

    June 20, 2023
    A tanker carrying 45,000 gallons of styrene overturned. Officials shut down the interstate in both directions for more than 12 hours. Styrene is used to make polystyrene plastics. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration: “Health effects from exposure to styrene may involve the central nervous system and include complaints of headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, malaise, difficulty in concentrating, and a feeling of intoxication.”

  • Ammonia leak, evacuations, New Braunfels Smokehouse, New Braunfels, Texas

    June 19, 2023
    An ammonia leak at a smoked meat led officials to order people in nearby homes and businesses to evacuate.

  • Herbicide fire, Sterr Dairy Farm, Mayville, Wisconsin

    June 18, 2023
    A fire at a dairy farm involved an 800 gallon tank of the herbicide, RoundUp. The amount and dangers of the chemical was of concern to the Fire Department and hazardous materials crews. “It is not sold in this quantity or strength to the general public,” a spokesperson said. RoundUp contains glyphosate, which can irritate skin, eyes and throat and also cause convulsions, liver and kidney damage according to the New Jersey Department of Health.

  • Fire, Veolia Electronics Recycling, Phoenix, Arizona

    June 16, 2023
    An electronics recycling facility was evacuated and local roads were shut after a series of small explosions and fires broke out. Hazmat crews were called in due to the nature of the components stored at the facility.

  • Uranium hexafluoride release, Honeywell, Metropolis, Illinois

    June 12, 2023
    An unreported amount of toxic uranium hexafluoride was released from a nuclear fuel plant. Nearby residents said they only heard about the incident through word-of-mouth. According to the New Jersey Department of Health uranium hexafluoride “emits radioactive particles which can be breathed in, swallowed or can penetrate the skin.” Employees were evaluated onsite for medical concerns. Honeywell’s Metropolis plant has been under scrutiny over concerns about transparency. In May 2018 a class action lawsuit and several other lawsuits were initiated against the facility that converts uranium into nuclear fuel.

  • Chemical leak, evacuations, United Natural Foods Inc., Lancaster, Texas

    June 12, 2023
    Fifteen employees were transported to the hospital after what was believed to be a leak of ammonia at a food distributions warehouse. The building was evacuated. United Natural Foods provides health and organic foods to chains such as Whole Foods and Wegmans.

  • Chemical fire, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, Streamwood, Illinois

    June 12, 2023
    Hazardous materials were involved in a fire at a seal company, but the nature of the chemicals involved was not reported. A hazardous materials team responded to clean up residues and contaminated water runoff. Trelleborg makes seals made of PTFE, polyurethane, and other polymers, to the automotive and aviation industries.

  • Fire, Stevens Disposal & Recycling Service, Petersburg, Michigan

    June 11, 2023
    A fire broke out at a waste transfer station. Seventeen fire units were called in, but were frustrated in their efforts when hydrants could not provide enough water to fight the fire. It took eight hours to bring it into control.

  • Chemical fire, Air Liquide, Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania

    June 9, 2023
    Crews were called in to address a chemical fire contained in the building. Reports did not identify the chemicals that were on fire. The Air Liquide Advanced Materials facility makes specialty gas, liquids, and solid materials for the semiconductor and other high technology industries.

  • Hydrochloric acid spill, Consolidated Water Solutions, Omaha, Nebraska

    June 7, 2023
    About 300 gallons of hydrochloric acid spilled from a storage unit at an industrial water treatment chemical plant. Officials asked nearby businesses to shelter-in-place. Crews used soda ash to neutralize the spill. Inhalation of hydrochloric acid fumes can irritate eyes, skin, and gastrointestinal and respiratory systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

  • Chemical leak, Valero Energy, Three Rivers, Texas

    June 6, 2023
    Valero reported a leak of at least 10,000 pounds of unspecified volatile organic compounds at its oil refinery. The leak took a day to contain.

  • Freon leak, one hospitalized, Safeway, Pittsburg, California

    June 6, 2023
    A grocery store was evacuated after freon leaked. An employee was hospitalized with breathing difficulty.

  • Leak of “multiple” chemicals, evacuations, US 22, Vintondale, Pennsylvania

    June 6, 2023
    A tractor trailer overturned and spilled its cargo of 40,000 pounds of solid and liquid chemicals. Intense heat and a “smoke-like” cloud followed. Officials closed the roadway in both directions and issued evacuations for anyone within a mile radius. Chemicals identified in the spill included organic peroxide, perchloric acid, ethanol and sodium dichromate.

  • Chemical leak, Link Environmental Transfer Station, North Smithfield, Rhode Island

    June 5, 2023
    A chemical leak led to smoke at a waste transfer station. The chemical was not identified but the transfer station accepts batteries, appliances, tires and other bulk items.

  • Fire, Hefty Seed’s chemical warehouse, Hurdsfield, North Dakota

    June 5, 2023
    A fire at the agricultural chemical company’s warehouse caused plumes of heavy black smoke to be emitted. A hazardous materials team monitored air conditions.

  • Chemical leak, Blue Grass Chemical Specialties, New Albany, Indiana

    June 6, 2023
    A nitrate solution spilled for the second time in 2023 at Blue Grass, a toll manufacturing company which formulates and produces a wide range of chemical products for other companies.

  • Sulfur fire, Shafter, California

    June 4, 2023
    A fire burning the color blue, initially reported as vegetation, turned out to be a mysterious ignition of what was determined to be sulfur. The roadside fire was near a distribution hub for a variety of businesses. Most sulfur is used to make sulfuric acid for fertilizers and lead-acid batteries.

  • Fire, shelter-in-place, Padnos Iron & Metal, Holland, Michigan

    June 3, 2023
    A heavy fire at a vehicle recycling facility caused officials to advise a shelter-in-place to people downwind of the incident over concerns of the toxicity of the smoke. “Those are vehicles that are being recycled. They go into a shredder,” said Fire Captain Chris Tenney. The vehicles have “spare steel, there can be insulating materials in there, other items in there, petrochemicals, those types of things... It's kind of a soup or whatever there.”

  • Fire, evacuations, Calcasieu Refining Company, Lake Charles, Louisiana

    June 3, 2023
    A storage tank filled with naphtha caught fire apparently after it was struck by lighting according to officials. Residents in a 1.5 mile radius were evacuated and those in a 3 miles radius were advised to shelter in place. Naphtha is produced through the distillation of petroleum and is used in fuels, solvents and feedstocks for petrochemicals.

  • Fires, North County Recycling, Paso Robles, California

    June 2, 2023
    Shortly after a pile of plastics and cardboard caught fire outside a recycling facility, a second fire ignited inside the building.

  • Chlorine release, ND Paper Mill, Rumford, Maine

    June 2, 2023
    After being struck by lightning, a paper plant experienced a power outage which led to a build up of chlorine gas in the building. The facility was partially evacuated.

  • Chemical fire, Ampal Inc., Palmerton, Pennsylvania

    June 1, 2023
    Ampal, a division of US Metal Powders, produces aluminum powders. Emergency crews responding to a fire at the facility, concerned about the chemicals involved, decided to let the fire burn out on its own. Aluminum powders are used in a number of consumer products such as paints, abrasives, pigments, catalysts and explosives.

  • Fire, explosions, Absoloot Recycling, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    May 31, 2023
    Sparks from a scrapped vehicle ignited a gas tank leading to a massive fire at a metal recycling plant. More than 100 cars were on the property and when the tires from these vehicles caught fire it led to a series of loud explosions. “It sounded like a bomb went off,” said Neisha O’Brien, who works across the street. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen.”

  • Fire, Century Foundry, Muskegon, Michigan

    May 30, 2023
    A fire at an aluminum foundry plant became so hot firefighters had to withdraw and go into “defensive” mode. Hazmat crews were called in over concerns that small explosions were being caused by “acetylene tanks, paint cans and materials used in the foundry.” The cause of the fire is under investigation.

  • Ammonia leak, Heinz Kraft Claussen Pickle Company, Woodstock, Illinois

    May 30, 2023
    A leak of anhydrous ammonia forced the evacuation of more than a dozen employees from a pickle factory. Anhydrous ammonia is used in the food-processing industry for refrigeration and flash freezing.

  • Fire, ammonia leak, evacuations, Northwoods Ice, Bemidji, Minnesota

    May 29, 2023
    Firefighters were exposed to a cloud of ammonia while battling a fire at an ice factory. The owner of the building reported that 1,600 pounds of anhydrous ammonia was stored in the facility and the 28 firefighters addressing the fire reported a smell and a white cloud. Buildings within 0.2 miles downwind of the plant were evacuated and the firefighters were decontaminated and evaluated.

  • Hazmat, Coxsackie, New York

    May 28, 2023
    According to Facebook postings, 1.2 million gallons of oil spilled from a barge into the Hudson River. Officials closed the town’s boat launch, beach and docks while the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Response cleaned up the spill.

  • Fire, Castle Tire Recycling, Portland, Oregon

    May 24 to 30, 2023
    Roadways and a nearby Union Pacific rail line were shut down as fire crews battled piles of shredded tires that were estimated to be three stories high. The tire shreds were destined to be exported to Asia where they would be used for fuel. According to the Environmental Protection Agency “emissions from an open tire fire can represent significant acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) health hazards to firefighters and nearby residents. Depending on the length and degree of exposure, these health effects could include irritation of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes, respiratory effects, central nervous system depression, and cancer.” The fire reignited for at least six days.

  • Fire, Columbia County Recycling and Waste Processing, Portage, Wisconsin

    May 24, 2023
    For the second time in 10 days a Wisconsin recycling center caught fire. Thirty different emergency agencies responded to the scene. Two firefighters sustained minor injuries. The fire reignited for a third time on May 29th.

  • Explosion, fire, two injured, CVR Energy/Wynnewood Refining Co, Wynnewood, Oklahoma

    May 23, 2023
    Two employees were injured, one suffering from third degree burns on 93% of his body, after an explosion and fire at a refinery. Although the cause of the incident is under investigation, the company suspects a problem with the plant’s gasoline hydrotreater, a unit that removes sulfur and other contaminants. Local residents reported being accustomed to these incidents and sheltering in place to avoid breathing contaminants. The facility was the site of a 2012 boiler explosion that killed two workers.

  • Chemical spill, Best Finishes LLC, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    May 22, 2023
    A fire at an anodizing company caused drums of stored chemicals to melt and leak. Prior to hazardous materials crews arriving, a construction crew working in the area scrambled to build dirt dams. They used booms to stop the approximately 50 gallons of various chemicals from entering storm drains. Although a spokesperson for the fire department said the number of chemicals spilled in the leak was difficult to determine, chromium trioxide, sulfuric acid and nitric acid were identified as some of the spilled material.

  • Fire, General Coatings Manufacturing, Tucson, Arizona

    May 20, 2023
    A plant that produces spray polyurethane coatings for roof and tank insulation caught fire. Hazardous materials, including isocyanates, stored in the building led hazmat crews to respond.

  • Fire, shelter-in-place, High Tech Finishing, Houston, Texas

    May 20, 2023
    A fire at a warehouse that provides aviation plating services led authorities to issue a shelter in place for a mile and a half radius. This was due to the “highly volatile chemicals” used at the plant. Residents reported thick black smoke and a strong chemical smell.

  • Fire, shelter-in-place, Advantage Metals Recycling, Kansas City, Kansas

    May 19, 2023
    Local residents were warned of hazardous materials being emitted in fire and smoke at the recycling facility. More than 500,000 cubic feet of material were involved in a blaze estimated to be 70 feet high. A shelter-in-place was advised as it was determined that the fire consumed automobiles, refrigerators and propane tanks, some of which still contained chemicals and fuels.

  • Nitric acid leak, W.R. Grace, Baltimore, Maryland

    May 19, 2023
    A vacuum truck on the premises leaked an estimated 50 to 75 gallons of nitric acid after the failure of a gasket. The facility, which is located on Curtis Bay, produces catalysts and adsorbents. The Community of Curtis Bay Association issued a statement saying the incident was““just the latest in a never-ending series of incidents that jeopardize the health and safety of our community.” And that it “adds to a cumulative burden of environmental injustice that our community faces on a daily basis.”

  • Fire, Valero Refinery, Corpus Christi, Texas

    May 17, 2023
    A fire at the 290,000 barrel per day refinery was contained to the facility's premises.

  • Explosion, fire, shelter-in-place, Oxarc Inc., Pasco, Washington

    May 16, 2023
    An explosion and fire at a welding supply company led to complications for firefighters because the location of the incident was a building where highly volatile acetylene was produced and stored. Local residents and a nearby school were advised to shelter-in-place during the incident.

  • Lead dioxide leak, Interstate 75, Lexington, Kentucky

    May 15, 2023
    An SUV rear ended a tanker truck loaded with lead dioxide causing officials to shut down portions of I-75 for several hours. Lead dioxide is an eye and skin irritant, a suspected carcinogen, persistent in the environment and capable of intensifying fire, according to the National Institutes of Health. It is used in lead acid batteries, matches, explosives, pyrotechnics, polysulfide polymers, dyes and other chemicals. News reports did not identify the origin or destination of the cargo.

  • Fire, one fatality, Marathon Petroleum, Texas City, Texas

    May 15, 2023
    One worker died in a fire at Marathon’s crude oil refinery. Local residents stated that despite signing up for alerts from the company, they were unaware of the situation until alerted by neighbors or media. “(Is the city) going to wait till the last minute to tell us, and then we can't leave because it blows up or something?" one resident told ABC 13. It was later reported that because hydrocarbon naphtha was burned in the fire, a shelter-in-place should have been issued for local residents.

  • Fire, Columbia County Recycling and Waste Processing, Portage, Wisconsin

    May 14, 2023
    At least eight fire departments responded to a fire at a waste management plant.

  • Ethyl Acrylate leak, Cathcart Rail, Lynchburg, Virginia

    May 13, 2023
    After receiving complaints about a persistent noxious odor, officials discovered that a 2,200 gallon tank of ethyl acrylate had developed a slow leak. Ethyl acrylate is used in plastics manufacturing. Cathcart Rail provides railway services including transportation, repair and field service.

  • Fire, Grimmel Industries, Topsham, Maine

    May 12, 2023
    A pile of scrap metal shaving caught fire and created 40 foot high flames. Grimmel Industries processes auto scrap, bulk waste and construction debris.

  • Chlorine leak, shelter in place, Wilmar Municipal Utilities, Wilmar, Minnesota

    May 12, 2023
    Employees at a water treatment plant alerted authorities of a suspected chlorine leak in one of the buildings. Upon inspection hazardous materials crews discovered two 150 pound chlorine canisters leaking. A local road was shut down and residents were advised to stay indoors with windows and doorways closed.

  • Fire, former Specialized Fibers/Omega Waste Management, Corning, California

    May 9, 2023
    A fire ignited from unknown causes at a closed waste management facility. In 2018, the site had been shut down after a days-long fire and investigators discovered illegally stored hazardous waste. Both companies were fined $1.7 million for the violations. As of 2022 the wastes had not been cleared out.

  • Mercury spill, Amtrak Train Station, Martinez, California

    May 9, 2023
    A “large quantity” of mercury was found spilled in a train station parking lot. Several Amtrak employees were sent to the hospital for evaluation, The ambulance staff who transported the employees also were evaluated. The train station was shut down for an undetermined duration. Travelers who came in contact with the mercury were advised to double bag clothing and shoes and call the hazardous materials team. It was later reported that authorities found indications of mercury contamination in downtown Martinez. Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin and considered “as one of the top ten chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern” by the World Health Organisation.

  • Fire, Hite Plastics Recycling Plant, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    May 8, 2023
    A fire at a plastics recycling plant spread quickly through piles of plastic due to high winds. According to Hite, the site “processes scrap and surplus plastics from industrial and commercial sources into a consistent material for reuse by manufacturers.”

  • Fire, Shell Chemical, Deer Park, Texas

    May 5-7, 2023
    A fire that was extinguished at the Shell’s olefin unit on Friday, May 5, reignited on Saturday and burned through Sunday, May 7. While the company stated that the fire was contained within the facility, it was reported that heavy plumes of black smoke were visible for miles, which unsettled nearby residents. “It looks like a bunch of chemicals being released into the air, and it doesn't look safe at all,” one resident told ABC News. It was also reported that Shell’s on-site capacity for wastewater management was exceeded. The contaminated water instead flowed into the Houston Ship Channel, sometimes at a rate of 11,000 gallons a minute. Nine workers were evaluated for health concerns and released. The olefin unit produces gas oil and gasoline.

  • Anhydrous ammonia leak, La Quesera Mexicana, Greeneville, Tennessee

    May 6, 2023
    A mechanical malfunction caused an ammonia leak at the frozen desert factory. Local streets were shut down and traffic on a nearby Northern Suffolk train line was halted while the leak was contained.

  • Explosion, four injured, Air Liquide, High Springs, Florida

    May 4, 2023
    Four employees were injured in an explosion at the facility which provides gasses used to make computer chips. The facility was shut down while an investigation was conducted as to the cause of the explosion.

  • Massive explosion, fire, one fatality, Sequens/PCI Synthesis, Newburyport, Massachusetts

    May 4, 2023
    An explosion so strong it hurled a 30 foot industrial vat into the plant’s parking lot also killed a 64-year-old worker and injured four others. News agencies reported debris in their yards and a “synthetic smell” in the air. Although the cause of the explosion remains under investigation, local reports note the facility has had a long history of chemical incidents, worker safety violations and hazardous waste disposal violations. The city suspended operations at the facility. “I have to put the safety of firefighters and our citizens before the company,” Mayor Sean Reardon said. The plant reopened days later. Sequens/PCI produces chemicals for pharmaceutical products.

  • Ammonia leak, shelter-in-place, Coca Cola, Auburndale, Florida

    March 15, 2023
    A leak from a 20,000 gallon tank of ammonia caused authorities to evacuate the building and issue shelter-in-place orders for residents living two blocks east of the plant. The leak was capped by firefighters after three hours. The Auburndale plant produces non-carbonated products for the company and is reported to be a large supplier to Disney Parks.

  • Hydrogen sulfide/butane leak, four injured, Marathon Petroleum, Wilmington, California

    May 4, 2023
    Four employees were exposed to a toxic mixture of hydrogen sulfide and butane. The cause of the leak is under investigation.

  • Ammonia spills, six hospitalized, Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant, Smyrna, Tennessee

    May 3, 2023
    A broken bottle of ammonia in a railcar led to six employees being hospitalized for observation. The area was evacuated while the situation was cleaned up.

  • Chemical fire, evacuations, Inland Empire Paper Co., Millwood, Washington

    May 3, 2023
    The building was evacuated during the fire, which was reported to be caused by a bleaching agent being accidentally mixed with another unnamed chemical. People who had been in “hot spots” were decontaminated.

  • Sodium metabisulfite leak, one injury Edgewell Personal Care/Playtex, Sidney, Ohio

    May 2, 2023
    One employee was transported to the hospital after being exposed to sodium metabisulfite. The chemical is an irritant to eyes, skin and respiratory system. It is used as a preservative and disinfectant in consumer products. Edgewell Personal Care is the parent company of Playtex.

  • Phosphoric acid leak, one injury, evacuations, CSX train, Marion, Ohio

    May 2, 2023
    A CSX train car was discovered to be leaking phosphoric acid while stopped for an inspection. Two local residences were evacuated and local roadways were shut down. One hazmat worker was treated for skin irritation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, phosphoric acid is an eye and skin irritant.

  • Refrigerant leak, evacuations, Pentucket Regional Middle School, West Newbury, Massachusetts

    May 1, 2023
    Four students with nausea and other symptoms of chemical exposures were transported to a hospital after a strange smell was reported on the third floor of their middle school. The school was evacuated and the source of the smell was discovered to be a leak of refrigerant from a rooftop HVAC unit.

  • Sulfur dioxide/hydrogen sulfide leak, shelter-in-place, Suncor Refinery, Commerce City, Colorado

    April 29, 2023
    Authorities suggested local residents take precautions after a refinery emitted sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide exceeding the permitted levels. A malfunction in the facility’s sulfur recovery equipment was blamed for the incident. People living near the facility were advised to limit outdoor activities, close windows and use air purifying devices.

  • Leak of unknown chemical, 40 school children affected, Pine Level Elementary School, Deatsville, Alabama

    April 28, 2023
    Children playing in the school yard began experiencing facial swelling and watery eyes. After an examination of the playground, school officials concluded that the 40 children were victims of a chemical leak from a truck passing by the school. The school’s website carried this statement: “Based on video review of activity and traffic patterns in the area, the conclusion is that a commercial truck traveling along Highway 31 may have had an accidental chemical leak near the school, and, with yesterday’s weather pattern, the wind carried it to the playground. As an extra precaution, the fire department hosed down all playground equipment, and the campus has been cleared for students to return next week.”

  • Chlorine leak, Big Springs Mill, Elliston, Virginia

    April 28, 2023
    A chlorine leak in a seasoned flour mill was successfully contained in the facility by emergency service personnel.

  • Chemical spill, International Paint LLC/AkzoNobel, Houston, Texas

    April 27, 2023
    An unnamed acid solvent spilled and started smoking causing the two dozen employees in the plant to self-evacuate. AkzoNobel’s International Paint division offers protective coatings and paints for the marine industry.

  • Explosion, one fatality, one injured, Seneca Petroleum, Lemont, Illinois

    April 25, 2023
    An explosion, believed to have occurred in an asphalt tank at the plant, killed one contract worker and injured a second. The incident also brought down nearby power lines.

  • Fire, Saft Battery, Jacksonville, Florida

    April 25, 2023
    It took firefighters 10 hours to contain a blaze after a 20,000 pound lithium-ion battery caught fire. Initial attempts to squelch it with dry chemicals failed and hazmat crews moved batteries from the area. The fire chief noted that the fire was emitting hydrogen fluoride, “a pretty dangerous gas.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, inhalation of hydrogen fluoride gas “can irritate the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract. Breathing in hydrogen fluoride at high levels or in combination with skin contact can cause death from an irregular heartbeat or from fluid buildup in the lungs.”

  • Explosion, fire, one injured, J.S. Fesmire Hauling, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    April 24, 2023
    A massive fire injured one employee and caused thick black plumes of smoke to be released into the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia. Officials warned residents to shelter-in-place. The facility is a scrap metal and appliance recycling center. “‘If you think about what appliances are going to burn, you have plastics, and it's going to burn sort of like a junkyard would burn - but inside of a structure,’ said 1st Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy.” The explosion was reported to have occurred when an employee started a forklift. Neighbors reported several subsequent explosions.

  • Two fatalities, Anderson Pest Control, Florida

    April 22, 2023
    Three workers employed by Anderson Pest Control were overcome after fumigating the furniture warehouse.Two of the employees died after leaving the facility, while a third was hospitalized. The situation is under investigation but state authorities ordered Anderson Pest Control to halt fumigations while they addressed the incident.

  • Sulfuric acid spill, evacuations, Stanley, Wisconsin

    April 19, 2023
    Residents were evacuated and roadways were closed after a tanker truck carrying 3,000 gallons of sulfuric acid overturned in a residential neighborhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control, sulfuric acid “is a corrosive substance, destructive to the skin, eyes, teeth, and lungs. Severe exposure can result in death.”

  • Rubbish fire, West Dade Waste Operations, Doral, Florida

    April 18, 2023
    A fire at the waste facility sent heavy black smoke over the town. The operation is reported to recycle mostly scrap metal. This was the third incident of a waste fire in Doral in 2023 and residents are weary, “‘It's a beautiful neighborhood so they should crack down on that, and it's also dangerous, they have schools around here, kids are running around playing and its hazardous for them too,’” Doral resident Anna McCarthy told CBS News.

  • Explosion, one fatality, four injured, Green Plains Ethanol Plant, Wood River, Nebraska

    April 17, 2023
    An explosion during stillage tank maintenance killed one worker and sent four others to the hospital. Stillage is a liquid waste produced during ethanol production that contains “volatile fatty acids including acetic acid, propionic acid and butyric acid”, according to a report in Energy Procedia. Three days prior, a structural fire was reported at the facility.

  • Oil tank fire, shelter-in-place, Hackberry, Louisiana

    April 16, 2023
    Two crude oil storage tanks were found to be burning after being struck by lightning. Officials issued a shelter-in-place for a mile radius around the tanks, which are located at a terminal for Harvest Pipeline.

  • Evacuations from noxious odor, Nashville International Airport (BNA), Nashville, Tennessee

    April 16, 2023
    The “presence of a noxious odor” led authorities to evacuate a concourse at the airport. People reported experiencing breathing problems. Air tests revealed the chemical to be butoxyethyl acetate, “a solvent commonly used in lacquers, varnishes, enamels, and resins.” Butoxyethyl acetate is a skin and respiratory irritant.

  • Fire, evacuations, shelter-in-place, Pinova Solutions, Brunswick, Georgia

    April 15, 2023
    A polyterpene resin factory caught fire, leading Brunswick mayor Cosby Johnson to declare a city-wide state of emergency. “‘As you can see, the wind continues to change, direction continues to change, and we want every part of our citizenry to be safe,’ Johnson said. Evacuations were advised for those living in a half-mile radius of the plant while a city-wide shelter-in-place was issued. Pinova Senior Director of Operations Ron Kurtz said Saturday morning that the fire was in the plant's terpene resins unit. "It was terpene resins," Kurtz said when asked about the smoke plume. "This is material you use every day, a lot of adhesives, glues, that's where this material's going. It's also used in some food products."

  • Chemical leak, GlaxoSmithKline, East Durham, New York

    April 14, 2023
    First responders confirmed a chemical leak at the pharmaceutical production plant. News reports provided no further details.

  • Chemical leak, shelter in place, Westlake, Kentucky

    April 14, 2023
    A shelter-in-place was issued for a nearby school after the company alerted the Livingston County’s office of emergency management about a chemical release from the plant. “South Livingston Elementary School says the school sheltered in place because it was in the ‘potential impact zone.’" Livingston County is just across the Tennessee River from Westlake’s plant in Calvert City (Marshall County).

  • “Dangerous vapors” after an explosion at New Castle Building Products, Norwalk, Connecticut

    April 13, 2023
    An explosion caused the release of an unnamed chemical that was described as “explosive and toxic.” Employees were evacuated. New Castle supplies building materials.

  • Sulphuric acid spill, Coors Engineering Center, Golden, Colorado

    April 13, 2023
    The spill of an unknown amount of sulphuric acid at Coors’ canning facility, located a mile from the company’s brewery, caused the evacuation of all employees and shut down local roadways. The company kept the facility shut the following day while an investigation ensued. According to the Centers for Disease Control, sulphuric acid “is a corrosive substance, destructive to the skin, eyes, teeth, and lungs. Severe exposure can result in death. Workers may be harmed from exposure to sulfuric acid.”

  • Chemical exposure, dozens hospitalized, Premier Custom Foods, Kansas City, Kansas

    April 11, 2023
    Over two dozen employees were hospitalized after containers of chemicals leaked. Some people fell unconscious after being exposed to carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. The chemicals are used to preserve meat. Premier Custom Foods distributes pork, beef and chicken products.

  • Industrial fire, plastic waste warehouse, thousands evacuated, shelter-in-place, Richmond, Indiana

    April 11, 2023
    Over 2,000 people were evacuated after a trailer, full of plastics, caught fire and spread to a 175,000 square foot recycling center, also full of plastics. The inferno’s smoke stretched dozens of miles to the east, according to weather radar. In addition to the evacuation, officials advised anyone downwind of the conflagration to shelter in place and local schools were closed for the day. "The smoke is definitely toxic. Elderly people who have difficulty breathing should stay inside," said Fire Marshall Steve Jones. The building is owned by a private citizen and the local city government and had been cited previously as being a fire hazard. The fire was brought under control but expected to smolder for several days.

  • Fire, shelter-in-place, Brookwood Finishing, Kenyon, Rhode Island

    April 11, 2023
    A fire in the dye house of a fabric processing plant led to concerns of chemical exposure. Residents near the building were advised to shelter-in-place.

  • Contaminated soil spill, East Palestine, Ohio

    April 10, 2023
    A truck carrying 40,000 pounds of soil contaminated after the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio overturned on a state highway. The accident, perhaps 10 miles from the derailment, spilled toxic soil onto the highway and forced officials to close local roads. The soil possibly contained residues of vinyl chloride, 2-butoxyethanol, ethylhexyl acrylate, butyl acrylate and isobutylene.

  • Anhydrous ammonia leak, evacuations, ReddyIce Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    April 10, 2023
    Workers updating equipment accidentally cut a hose releasing 100 pounds of anhydrous ammonia into the facility. As ABC News Channel 8 reported: “Anhydrous Ammonia is stored as a liquid under pressure. When it is released into the environment though, it becomes a toxic gas. Liquid anhydrous ammonia expands 850 times when it's released into the air and can form large vapor clouds.” The building and surrounding buildings were evacuated. ReddyIce produces packaged ice products.

  • Hazardous material spill after collision, Interstate 95 closed, South Carolina

    April 9, 2023
    Two tractor trailers collided. Seven containers carrying unnamed hazardous chemicals were damaged. The material leaked onto Interstate 95, which was shut down while hazmat crews worked to address the situation.

  • Fishing boat catches fire, shelter-in-place, Tacoma, Washington

    April 8, 2023
    Fire crews spent days battling a “massive” fire onboard the fishing vessel Kodiak Enterprise. The boat, in port for maintenance, was reported to be carrying 55,000 gallons of diesel and 19,000 pounds of fluorocarbon gas. In addition to the shelter-in-place advisory local schools were put on a two-hour delay. The fire continued to smolder on April 11. A light sheen was observed on the water. According to Maritime Executive, “the blaze aboard Kodiak Enterprise is the second to affect a Trident Seafoods fishing vessel in two years. In February 2021, the Trident fish processor Aleutian Falcon caught fire at a shipyard in Tacoma during maintenance work.”

  • Explosion, fire, three injuries, AmSpec, Nederland, Texas

    April 8, 2023
    An explosion and flash fire at a testing facility sent three employees to the hospital. AmSpec provides testing, certification and inspections services for consumer products, chemicals, additives and a variety of other industries, according to the company’s website.

  • Caustic liquid leak, three injured, US Steel Tower, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    April 5, 2023
    Address: 600 Grant Street A contract worker accidentally drilled a hole into a column containing a “fire protection fluid”. Three people, including two officers, were treated for minor skin irritations. Hazmat crews collected the fluid in vacuum trucks.

  • Fire, Encino Energy, Bowerston, Ohio

    April 4, 2023
    Lightning struck an oil well head at the company’s CHK Jamar Pad igniting it. Crews from eight local fire units addressed the blaze.

  • Fire, “Industrial Warehouse” West Easton, Pennsylvania

    April 4, 2023
    A massive fire burned “out of control” for over 5 hours. It engulfed the building which housed a variety of businesses, “including a medical waste company, a lumber yard, tractor trailers, a plastic recycling company, and a propane business.” The site sat adjacent to the Lehigh River where Department of Environmental Protection crews installed absorbent booms surrounding a sheen seen in the water.

  • Fire, two injuries, International-Matex Tank Terminal, St. Rose, Louisiana

    April 3, 2023
    Two contract employees at the chemical storage plant were injured when a flash fire started in a tank that contained crude oil residuals. Nearby storage tanks were cooled to prevent the spread of fire and the local railroad was shut down. International Matex’s St. Rose terminal specializes in the storage of bulk liquids such as petroleum, ethanol, vegetable oils, and “commodity chemicals,” which the company describes as alcohols, including methanol.

  • Chemical fire, one injured Delaval Manufacturing, Des Plaines, Illinois

    April 3, 2023
    Sodium chlorite was reported to have reacted with another unnamed chemical causing a fire. One employee was hospitalized with burns to their hands and head. Sodium chlorite is used as a disinfectant. Delaval produces sanitizers for agricultural equipment.

  • Fire, evacuations, Hillcorp Energy Company, Lackawannock Township, Pennsylvania

    March 31, 2023
    A fire at a gas well forced the evacuation of about 100 people in a half-mile radius. The fire was put out after four hours. “West Middlesex Fire Chief Rich Garrett described the situation as ‘extremely dangerous,’ saying ‘that’s why we waited it out.’”

  • Explosions, fire, Nouryon Chemical, Newfane, NY

    March 30, 2023
    Canisters of organic peroxide exploded and started a fire at the warehouse. A robot used to assist with the situation was damaged by one of the explosions. Nouryon stores organic peroxide in the building. According to, “Newfane Town Supervisor John Syracuse said the facility has had several incidents over years.”

  • PCB leak, transformer, Hanoverton, Ohio

    March 2023
    High winds snapped an aged power transformer. Its contents of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) spilled into a residential neighborhood. The spill wasn’t addressed until two days later after 50 gallons of the highly toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative chemical seeped into the ground and local streams. Local farmers had to hand over livestock for euthanization after the animals drank from a local stream. Because of their toxic and persistent nature, EPA banned the manufacturing of PCBs in 1979, but these chemicals remain in old transformers.

  • Train derailment, ethanol leak, evacuations, Prinsburg, Minnesota

    March 30, 2023
    It was reported that “essentially all of the town’s 250 homes” were evacuated after 22 cars of a BNSF cargo train derailed. Ten of the cars carried ethanol, four of which erupted and caught fire. The ethanol originated from an ADM facility in Marshall, MN, where the company processes corn into ethanol and other products.

  • Fire, Santolube Manufacturing LLC, Spartanburg, South Carolina

    March 29, 2023
    A fire at the plant, which manufactures synthetic fluids, lubricants and greases, traveled through duct work to multiple locations throughout the building.

  • Nitric acid leak, Chemical Distributors Inc., Buffalo, New York

    March 29, 2023
    Authorities were called after more than 3,000 gallons of nitric acid was released from a tank, forming a yellow cloud. Residents were advised to avoid the area. Nitric acid is an eye, skin and respiratory irritant. Chemical Distributors, owned by PVS, is a warehouse and chemical blending space.

  • Chlorine dioxide release, nine hospitalized, shelter-in-place, Pioneer Growers, Belle Grade, Florida

    March 29, 2023
    Workers saw a white cloud coming from a fruit processing building, which turned out to be chlorine dioxide. Two local schools were advised to shelter in place and several nearby businesses were evacuate.d after workers observed a white cloud being emitted from the building. Nine employees who came in contact with the chemical cloud were sent to hospitals for evaluations. Chlorine dioxide is used to sanitize fruits and vegetables.

  • Methanol leak, McAlpine Locks and Dam, Louisville, Kentucky

    March 29, 2023
    Ten barges being towed by a tug boat broke free in the Ohio River, including one carrying 1,400 tons of methanol, a toxic alcohol chemical, which started to sink. The Army Corps of Engineers closed the locks while addressing the issue. Methanol is a fire and explosion hazard, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is used in the manufacture of chemicals including formaldehyde, which is produced at a factory in Louisville.

  • Chemical spills, Canadian Pacific train derailment, Wyndmere, North Dakota

    March 27, 2023
    Four of 31 cars that derailed spilled liquid asphalt, two others leaked ethylene glycol and one more punctured and released propylene. The derailment was blamed on a broken rail in the tracks.

  • Oil well fire, Hess Corp., New Town, North Dakota

    March 26, 2023
    Crews battled a fire at the company’s oil well pad for 12 hours to get the situation under control. The company said it is investigating the cause of the fire as well as initiating environmental cleanup efforts at the site.

  • Trichloroethylene contamination, evacuations, Community Within the Corridor apartments (formerly Briggs & Stratton Industrial Complex), Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    March 24, 2023
    Over 150 people were evacuated from the Community Within the Corridor (CWC) affordable housing apartment complex after “exceptionally high” levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) were discovered. The site formerly housed Briggs & Stratton, a manufacturer of small engines, pressure washers and generators. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) claimed it was unaware that people had moved into the complex and ordered immediate evacuations. It is uncertain where the residents will be able to return. TCE is a solvent usually used in cleaning machinery parts. CWC was developed by Roers Companies LLC and Scott Crawford Inc. The companies, along with associate K. Singh & Associates, Inc. reportedly disregarded the DNR’s request that thorough testing be performed before residents were allowed occupancy.

  • Latex emulsion leak, bottled water advisory, Trinseo Altuglas, Bristol, Pennsylvania

    March 24, 2023
    Equipment failure was blamed for a leak of 8,000 gallons of latex emulsion chemicals into nearby Otter Creek, which feeds into the Delaware River and initially threatened Philadelphia’s drinking water supply. According to local news, “The chemicals released into the Delaware River include butyl acrylate, a flammable liquid used to manufacture paints, coatings, caulks, sealants, and adhesives. The same chemical was also released into a river in East Palestine, Ohio as a result of the Norfolk Southern train derailment. Two other chemicals released in the spill include ethyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate, both are used in the manufacture of plastics and coatings like latex paint.”

  • Radioactive wastewater leak, plant shut down, Xcel Energy Monticello Plant, Monticello, Minnesota

    March 24, 2023
    After water containing radioactive material was discovered leaking from the facility for the second time in four months, officials decided to halt operations at the plant while they addressed the situation. The November 2022 leak resulted in 400,000 gallons of tritium-laced water being released. The most recent leak was described as releasing “hundreds more gallons” of contaminated water and was blamed on aging pipelines.

  • Explosion, fire, one injury, Ineos Phenol, Pasadena, Texas

    March 22, 2023
    A tanker truck was unloading liquid petroleum to a plastics feedstock producer when a hose exploded. A massive fire ingested a worker. Ineos’ Pasadena plant produces cumene, which is used in phenolic and acrylic plastics.

  • Chlorine leak, evacuations, shelter-in-place, BioLab, Westlake, Louisiana

    March 22, 2023
    A leak of chlorine from the facility formed a visible vapor cloud and caused authorities to shut down part of Interstate 10 in both directions. A Phillips 66 plant across the street evacuated all non-essential personnel after employees reported eye and nose irritations. BioLab supplies dry chlorine products mainly for the pool market. The facility reopened in November 2022 after burning to the ground due to Hurricane Laura in 2020. BioLab receives chlorine from the nearby Westlake Chemical’s chlor-alkali plant, site of an incident on Jan. 27, 2022.

  • Acrylic acid incident, evacuations, Scott, Louisiana

    March 18, 2023
    A tanker truck containing 45,000 pounds of acrylic acid rolled over in a residential neighborhood prompting authorities to evacuate homes in a 100 yard radius and closed local streets. Acrylic acid is an eye, skin and respiratory irritant and is “used in the manufacture of acrylic resins, plastic products, leather treatments and paper coating,” according to the New Jersey Department of Health.

  • Explosion, three injured, Crostwater Distillery, Lewisberry, Pennsylvania

    March 18, 2023
    An explosion of a “vinegar acid-based chemical” used for distilling whisky and rum caused injuries to three employees who were treated for burns at a nearby hospital.

  • Radioactive wastewater leak revealed, Xcel Energy Monticello Plant, Monticello, Minnesota

    March 17, 2023
    A November 2022 leak of 400,000 gallons of tritium-containing radioactive water was revealed to the public four months after the incident. “When the leak happened, Xcel Energy reported it to the state and to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but since the public was never in danger, and the leak was contained to the site, Xcel Energy and state officials never felt the need to inform the public until now,” reported local station KARE-11. Nuclear energy produces tritium waste. Exposure to high levels of tritium is known to be hazardous; low level effects are less understood. “There is no definitive epidemiological study to assess the true risk of tritium,” reported Scientific American in 2014.

  • Peracetic acid leak, evacuations, Raven Biological Laboratories truck, Lennoir, Tennessee

    March 16, 2023
    A tractor-trailer truck leaking peracetic acid caused authorities to evacuate a truck stop and temporarily close parts of Interstates 40 and 75. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Acute exposure to peracetic acid is irritating to the eyes, respiratory tract, and skin.” News reports stating the people in the area were complaining of eye and ear irritation. A photo accompanying this article shows the truck with a Raven logo. Raven Biological Laboratories produces a peracetic acid test kit, which is used to test PAA food sanitizers.

  • Toxic Gas Release, daycare evacuated, Graphic Packaging International (GPI), Kalamazoo, Michigan

    March 15, 2023
    Children were sent home after a toxic cloud of hydrogen sulfide spewed from the GPI plant, which is situated a mere 300 feet from a daycare center and 1,300 feet from a public elementary school playground. Seventeen schools are listed within a two mile radius of the massive paper mill according to information from the National Center for Education Statistics. Children are reported to be coming home with bloodshot eyes, runny noses and persistent coughs. “Breathing in levels of hydrogen sulfide exceeding 1.4 parts per billion over a period of years can lead to health problems. Air levels in Kalamazoo over the past three years have consistently been 10 times higher or more.” In 2023 real-time gas level monitoring data from sensors installed at the company in 2020 and 2021 were made available to the public.

  • Fire, Pemex Refinery, Deer Park, Texas

    March 14, 2023
    A fire broke out in the crude distillation unit at the 312,000 barrel a day refinery. It was the second fire for the facility in three weeks. On February 23, 2023 fire was reported at three different Pemex facilities - the Deer Park facility and two other refineries in Mexico. Five people were injured in the fires at Pemex’s Mexican facilities.

  • Nitrogen oxide release, shelter-in-place, Blue Grass Chemical Specialties, New Albany, Indiana

    March 14, 2023
    A yellow plume seen rising from the facility led officials to order an elementary school and nearby residents, to shelter-in-place. Interstate 265 was closed for a time. The company said an overflowing tank caused the plume. Blue Grass is a toll manufacturing company, which formulates and produces a wide range of chemical products for other companies.

  • Vinyl chloride emissions, Formosa Plastics, Point Comfort, Texas

    March 12, 2023
    The plastics manufacturer reported that it emitted 58 times the allowable concentrations of vinyl chloride into the air for an extended period, due to a gas leak. Formosa manufactures vinyl chloride for its production of polyvinyl chloride resins. The giant petrochemical plant also makes polyethylene, polypropylene, and ethylene glycol.

  • Ammonia leaks, shelter-in-place, Kunzler Meat Company, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

    March 12, 2023 and March 16, 2023
    Residents were asked to stay indoors with their windows shut after officials discovered a leak of ammonia in the building. Residents had alerted emergency services after noting an “odd” odor. Kunzler produces deli meats and other prepared food products. A second leak occurred four days later and was again reported by local residents.

  • Fire, Cosaco LLC, Houston, Texas

    March 11, 2023
    Hazmat units responded to a fire in a heating unit. Cosaco produces copper salts for agricultural use.

  • Explosion, fire, two injuries, AmeriTies West, The Dalles, Oregon

    March 11, 2023
    Two firefighters were injured while reporting to a fire and explosion of a copper naphthenate diesel tank at the facility. AmeriTies treats railroad ties with biocides.

  • Chemical salt fire, Creative Extruded Products, Tipp City, Ohio

    March 11, 2023
    Employees were evacuated after a fire was discovered in an air duct and heavy smoke released through the building. Creative Extruded Products is a provider of injection molding and extrusion products for the automotive industry.

  • Phosphorus trichloride leak, SI Group Inc., Morgantown West Virginia

    March 11, 2023
    An unknown amount of phosphorus trichloride leaked from a chemical factory for an hour. Phosphorus trichloride reacts violently with water and creates highly corrosive phosphoric acid and hydrogen chloride. SI Group produces polymer additives and alkylphenol in Morgantown.

  • Chemical waste fire, Compounders Inc, Howell, New Jersey

    March 10, 2023
    After discovering “hundreds” of crumbling drums containing chemical wastes after addressing a fire at the former chemical plant, officials put evacuation plans in place for residents in a mile radius. Compounders Inc. produced adhesives, glues and asphalts at the site until 2019.

  • Fire, evacuations, shelter-in-place, SealMaster, Madison, North Carolina

    March 7, 2023
    Officials, fearing a major explosion, issued evacuation orders after fire broke out under a tank containing 11,500 gallons of liquid asphalt. The fire posed a challenge for firefighters after it resisted “Purple K”, a dry fire extinguishing compound. Also of concern to the firefighters was the fact that a second tank containing an additional 6,000 gallons of liquid asphalt sat three feet away from the conflagration. The fire was eventually brought under control after a consultation with the company led to a “smothering” technique. According to the Greensboro News & Record several schools were advised to close windows and have students shelter in place. The newspaper also reported “...police and EMS officials worked during the early morning to evacuate 50-75 residents living within 1,000 feet of the fire, just a half-mile from downtown and entrenched in one of the area's poorest neighborhoods.” SealMaster is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of pavement sealers.

  • Fire, shelter-in-place, Southern Metals Company, Charlotte, South Carolina

    March 6, 2023
    A fire at a scrap metal recycling facility caused officials to advise local residents to shut windows and doors as a precaution of the billowing smoke. The cause for the blaze is under investigation, but the plant is reported to recycle vehicles, appliances and other metals.

  • Fire, Lebanon Seaboard, Danville, Illinois

    March 6, 2023
    A fire broke out at a fertilizer facility. Emergency officials said that “time was of the essence” in putting the fire out because of the volume of chemicals in the plant. According to the company’s website it produces fertilizers used in various turf applications.

  • Explosion, fire, Emery Oleochemicals, Cincinnati, Ohio

    March 6, 2023
    A hydrogen explosion led to a small fire at an oleochemicals plant. According to WCPO, “Emery Oleochemicals produces chemicals from natural oils and fats. Emery started as a tallow and candle business in 1840. It later began the commercial production of chemicals used in cleaning chemicals or pharmaceuticals.”

  • Barge incident, evacuations, Winfield, Missouri

    March 3, 2023
    Two barges carrying anhydrous ammonia broke free. Residents within a one-mile radius of the Winfield Lock and Dam were evacuated until workers secured the barges.

  • Sodium hydroxide spill, evacuations, Lavelle Industries, Burlington, Wisconsin

    March 3, 2023
    Employees were evacuated from the building after a 500 gallon tank of sodium hydroxide overflowed, spilling its contents. Also known as caustic soda, sodium hydroxide is an eye and skin irritant. Lavelle Industries designs and manufactures rubber and plastic parts for various industries.

  • Magnesium chloride spill, Union Pacific train derailment, Ogden, Utah

    March 2, 2023
    Multiple train cars derailed in a train yard spilling magnesium chloride, which is used as an ingredient in consumer products ranging from dietary supplements to carpet cleaners. Magnesium chloride can cause eye, skin and respiratory irritations.

  • Chemical exposure, evacuations, BNSF and Union Pacific rail yard, Liberty County, Texas

    February 25, 2023
    Four rail yard workers were taken to the hospital for evaluation after complaining of nausea, respiratory irritation and headaches. It was feared they potentially were exposed to a chemical leak. The facility was evacuated while a survey of the contents of the rail cars revealed several hazardous chemicals such as ethylene oxide, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. “We were relaying information back to the hospital. They were treating them appropriately for ethylene oxide and sulfuric acid exposure. We had ruled out hydrochloric acid because they weren’t experiencing really bad respiratory issues. They were all treated and released,” said Bill Hergemueller, director of the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management.

  • Hydrofluoric acid spill, Schultz Xtruded Products, Hernando, Mississippi

    February 25, 2023
    A fire at the plant reached a container of hydrofluoric acid causing it to leak into nearby Mussacuna Creek. Crews built a temporary dam in the creek to prevent the chemicals from flowing downstream to Arkabutla Lake. Schultz makes pipes and fittings for the oil and gas industry.

  • Fire, Pemex, Deer Park, Texas

    February 23, 2023
    Pemex’s emergency unit extinguished a fire at Pemex’s 312,500 barrel a day refinery in Deer Park. No injuries were reported in the Deer Park incident. The same day, Pemex reported fires at two facilities in Mexico. U.S. News and World Report said “Five people were unaccounted for after a fire at a storage facility in the state of Veracruz that had sent three others to a hospital, the company said in a statement. The cause of that fire, which had been put out, had not yet been determined, the company added. Pemex confirmed in a later statement on Thursday evening that a separate fire at its Minatitlan refinery, also in Veracruz, was under control after injuring five people.”

  • Fire, evacuations, Oak Ridge Y-12 Uranium Processing Facility, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

    February 22, 2023
    Hundreds of workers were evacuated after a fire broke out at a uranium processing facility at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The exact location of the fire was not reported but visitors and workers in other sections of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory were sheltered-in-place. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Officials reported there was no release of radioactive materials.

  • Explosion and fire, two fatalities, two injuries, Laurie’s General Welding, Medley, Florida

    February 21, 2023
    An explosion and fire at a welding company left two people dead and two more in critical condition. According to news reports: “The fire was reportedly caused by a spark when workers were using acetylene for welding.” The fire spread to surrounding trucks and downed electrical lines. EPA’s Risk Management Program regulates facilities that have at least 10,000 pounds of acetylene on-site.

  • Fire, Hazardous waste collection center, Doral, Florida

    February 21, 2023
    A fire at a household hazardous waste collection facility sent “plumes of black smoke over Doral.” According to the Miami-Dade County Solid Waste Management website, this facility allows residents to “dispose of items that can otherwise potentially harm the environment.” This was the second fire involving household waste in Doral this month. (See February 13 to 19)

  • “Hazmat scare,” one fatality, ExxonMobil, Baytown, Texas

    February 18, 2023
    Firefighters responding to a medical emergency found an employee in cardiac arrest. The worker was transported to a nearby hospital where he was admitted for possible chemical exposure. He did not survive. Although firefighters reported that the man and the ambulance had a “chemical smell” and the hospital limited access to the emergency room while addressing the situation, Exxon ruled out chemical exposure as a reason for the incident. Emergency personnel exposed to the victim were decontaminated and will be monitored for health issues.

  • Hazardous waste fire, shelter in place, Clean Harbors storage facility, Braintree, Massachusetts

    February 18, 2023
    Multiple trailers which were reported to be full of “paints, epoxy, oil filters, solvents” and other waste materials spontaneously caught fire. Braintree officials advised residents to remain in their homes with their windows shut. Clean Harbors is a nation-wide company that collects, transports, and processes hazardous wastes. Its Braintree site is the largest hazardous waste collection and storage facility in New England, according to the company.

  • Plastics fire, shelter in place, Nursery Supplies Inc. planter factory, Kissimmee, Florida

    February 16, 2023
    A “massive” fire involving plastic products led officials to order a shelter in place for the surrounding community. Nursery Supplies is a leading producer of flower pots, made from unspecified recycled plastics, polyethylene and polypropylene. The conflagration left a 2-acre mass of burnt planters. Recycled “black plastics” often contain toxic chemicals. “Due to the lack of recycled black plastic, the demand is often met with e-waste (discarded electronics like old computers, phones, TVs, monitors, speakers, and appliances) that contains toxic chemicals such as phthalates, flame retardants, and heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, nickel, chromium, and mercury,” notes Beyond Plastics.

  • Oil tank fire, evacuations, Port of Catoosa, Oklahoma

    February 15, 2023
    An oil tank caught fire causing officials to shut down the inland port. Local businesses and an elementary school were evacuated and residents sheltered in place. Catoosa, outside Tulsa, is a key inland port where petrochemicals are transferred to barges that traverse the Arkansas River.

  • Peroxide spill, Stonyfield Farms, Londonderry, New Hampshire

    February 14, 2023
    A 250 gallon tank of peracetic acid was punctured and leaked in the parking lot of the yogurt plant. According to the USDA, peracetic acid is highly corrosive and unstable.

  • Massive fire, Covanta Energy, Doral, Florida

    February 13 to Feb. 19, 2023
    A fire at a garbage incinerator (also called waste-to-energy) was described as being the size of “two football fields of trash”. The fire reached at least four of the facility's 11 buildings and was expected to burn “for several days.” As of February 19, smoke continued to pour from the destroyed incinerator while Covanta was demolishing the complex. “Due to the smoke, officials are asking anyone who lives in the area to stay indoors with the windows closed, and that it’s important to run their air conditioners. Anyone driving in the area was urged to keep their windows up,” reported Local 10 News.

  • Nitric acid spill, evacuations, shelter-in-place, Tucson, Arizona

    February 14, 2023
    A tanker truck containing the highly explosive nitric acid overturned killing the driver and causing a “fiery wreck” that shut down parts of interstate 10. Officials ordered the closest residents to evacuate and others to shelter-in-place. According to the Centers for Disease Control exposure to nitric acid can cause “ irritation to the eyes, skin, and mucous membrane; it can also cause delayed pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, bronchitis, and dental erosion. Nitric acid is highly corrosive. Workers may be harmed from exposure to nitric acid.” Nitric acid is used in the production of plastics, dyes, and fertilizers.

  • Anhydrous ammonia leak, shelter in place, 99 Cents Only warehouse, Katy, Texas

    February 12, 2023
    A leak from a refrigerator line at the warehouse caused officials to order a shelter in place for the surrounding community. Because of the flammability and respiratory issues related to the ammonia, the building was deemed too dangerous for hazmat crews to enter initially.

  • Explosion, fire, one injury, Select Energy Services disposal site, Williston, North Dakota

    February 11, 2023
    One person suffered severe burns after several tanks exploded and caught fire at a “saltwater disposal” site for oil and gas fracking waste. Select Energy Services provides water and chemicals, including “friction reducers, surfactants, biocides, crosslinkers, polymers and other chemical technologies to optimize production,” according to the company website.

  • Explosion, chemical fire, evacuations, Olon Industries, Geneva, Illinois

    February 7, 2023
    “Multiple chemicals” caused an explosion and fire in the factory where countertops are produced. A nearby senior center and park were evacuated.

  • Anhydrous ammonia leak, Lamb Weston, Quincy, Washington

    February 6, 2023
    An unplanned release of anhydrous ammonia, used in the potato processing factory’s refrigeration system, led to air quality monitoring to be conducted around the plant.

  • Derailment, vinyl chloride leak, thousands evacuated, Norfolk Suffolk Railways, East Palestine, Ohio

    February 3, 2023
    A train carrying vinyl chloride, butyl acetate and benzene residues derailed causing a massive fire and fears of “catastrophic failure” of at least one of the containers, which would release toxic compounds and shrapnel into the area. Five of the 20 cars that derailed carried vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic compound used to make PVC plastic. After three days officials conducted a “controlled release” of the chemicals in train cars to mitigate the danger of an explosion. Officials ordered a mandatory evacuation of residents in a one-mile radius of the facility, that lasted five days. Local schools were closed for a week.

  • Sulfuric acid spill, Perstorp Polyols, Toledo, Ohio

    February 3, 2023
    A private company delivering sulfuric acid to a tank at Perstorp Polyols spilled about 500 gallons of the chemical on the ground. Perstorp Polyols provides specialty chemicals through the US, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Middle East Africa and Latin America, according to the company’s website.

  • Chemical leak, EMD Millipore, Kankakee, Illinois

    February 3, 2023
    An accidental mixing of chlorine and acid led to the evacuation of the building. EMD Millipore provides chemicals for bioscience and pharmaceutical industries.

  • Chlorine release, Olin Corp., Freeport, Texas

    February 2, 2023
    An unreported amount of chlorine was released from the facility. The leak was stopped and emergency personnel were notified.

  • Fire, Martinez Refining Company, Martinez, California

    January 31, 2023
    Material from what was reported to be out-of-service equipment began to smolder. Firefighters addressed the fire while hazmat teams were called in to monitor air quality. Earlier in January, the Contra Costa Health department requested that the District Attorney take legal action against the company for an unreported release of 20 tons metal-laden dust from the facility into the surrounding community in November. (See November 24, 2022)

  • “Chemical reaction”, two hospitalized, Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS), Erwin, Tennessee

    January 30, 2023
    Five employees were reported to have been exposed to vapors from a “chemical reaction” of unreported source materials. NFS provides fuel for the US Naval nuclear-powered vessels.

  • Propionic acid/acetic anhydride leak, evacuations, Union Pacific Railroad, Keatchie, Louisiana

    January 28, 2023
    About 130 people in a 1.5 mile radius were evacuated after two train cars carrying propionic acid and acetic anhydride derailed and began leaking. Propionic acid is “used as a preservative, fungicide, and antimicrobial agent, and acetic anhydride…is used in making plastics, drugs, dyes, perfumes, explosives and aspirin.”

  • Methanol leak, Chattem Chemicals, Chattanooga, Tennessee

    January 27, 2023
    Firefighters were called to address a fire near a methanol tank at the facility. After extinguishing the fire, hazmat crews observed a leak from one of the valves in the tank. The plant was evacuated. Chattem Chemicals produces pharmaceutical ingredients, surfactants, catalysts and additives, according to the company’s website.

  • Tornado strikes Ineos plastics factory near Houston, Texas

    January 24, 2023
    Plastics News reported that a tornado ran through the heart of the petrochemical industry east of Houston, Texas. Ineos’ plastics plant “suffered a direct hit from a tornado on January 24th, according to a letter to customers.” According to a National Weather Service storm survey, “three high tension power lines were flattened” north of Deer Park near the Ship Channel. This suggests EF-3 level damage in the petrochemical production zone. In addition to Ineos, OxyVinyl’s vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant was in the storm’s path as charted by the National Weather Service. VCM is used to produce polyvinyl chloride plastics. TotalEnergies’ polypropylene factory was quite close as well. Shell Chemicals and other factories in the vicinity reported operational issues including flaring due to power outages.

  • Hydrogen fluoride/chlorine leak, shelter-in-place, Honeywell blowing agent factory, Carville, Louisiana

    January 23, 2023
    An explosion led to the release of an unknown amount of hydrogen fluoride and chlorine from the facility. Honeywell officials ordered a shelter-in-place and shut down local roads. This is the latest of many serious incidents at the facility involving hydrogen fluoride. After a leak in July 2022, Honeywell’s Carville facility went into shelter-in-place mode, and an employee was treated for exposure. In October 2021, a worker was killed by another incident. Before that, the plant had “11 accidental releases of toxic or flammable chemicals in the past three years” according to the Advocate. Honeywell’s Carville plant makes hydrofluoric acid and PFAS, including fluorcarbon refrigerants and polychlorotrifluoroethylene homopolymer (PCTFE).

  • Fire, PBF Energy refinery, Chalmette, Louisiana

    January 21, 2023
    A fire broke out at a refinery. Residents recorded billowing thick black smoke before the fire was brought under control. The Chalmette Refinery produces 185,000 barrels of crude oil a day, which is marketed both domestically and internationally, according to the company’s website. PBF Energy is a publicly traded company formed in 2008. It is based in Parsippany, New Jersey, and has acquired six refineries in the U.S., including Chalmette (from ExxonMobil and Petroleos de Venezuela) in 2015.

  • Explosion, two fatalities, three injured, Quick Turn Anodizing, Guthrie, Kentucky

    January 19, 2023
    A tank containing an estimated 300 gallons of an “alkaline lye solution” exploded. One employee died at the scene and three more were seriously injured. One of the wounded workers later died of his injuries. Quick Turn specializes in aluminum and steel costings, including PTFE (Teflon).

  • Chemical vapor cloud, shelter-in-place, Florida Chemical Supply, Tampa, Florida

    January 19, 2023
    The leak of an unnamed chemical caused officials to shut down parts of Interstate 4 and advise a shelter-in-place for nearby residents. It was also not reported what caused the leak to occur. Florida Chemical Supply is a chemical compounder and distributor, with locations in Florida, Denmark and China. According to trade records, Florida Chemical Supply imports potassium fluorosilicate, sodium fluorosilicate and magnesium fluorosilicate from China.

  • Ammonia leak, six injured, TNT Crust, Green Bay, Wisconsin

    January 18, 2023
    Six employees were treated for respiratory chemical burns after a “substantial” ammonia leak at a pizza crust factory. TNT produces crusts for manufacturers, retailers and distributors. Officials praised the quick evacuation of employees, saying “this was really close to being a mass casualty.”

  • Fire, six injured Phillips 66 Borger Refinery, Borger, Texas

    January 17, 2023
    Six people were hospitalized, two in critical condition, after a fire broke out at the refinery. A local highway was also shut down for hours due to the blaze. The refinery is a joint venture between Phillips 66 and Cenovus Energy (based in Canada). According to the company’s website: “The refinery processes primarily medium sour crude oil and NGL delivered through pipelines from West Texas, the Texas Panhandle and Canada. Borger has a gross NGL fractionation capacity of 22,500 barrels per day.”

  • Fire, Nutrien AG Solutions, Lamar, Nebraska

    January 11, 2023
    A fire at a fertilizer plant caused complications for firefighters because of the chemicals involved. “We knew when we set up that water use would be limited. No one could enter the building because it collapsed with chemicals inside,” said an official with Nebraska’s State Fire Marshal's office. Firefighters were limited in using water to prevent hazardous runoff. In 2022, fires occurred at Nutrien fertilizer plants in Leoti, Kansas (April 19) and Sunnyside, Washington (Feb. 28).

  • Sulfur dioxide leak, Albemarle Corp., Magnolia, Arkansas

    January 11, 2023
    Officials shut down part of US 79, adjacent to Albemarle’s South plant and reported that the leaked chemical could cause skin irritation and possible blindness. The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management later confirmed the chemical was sulfur dioxide, according to the Magnolia Banner-News. However, it reported, “a security officer at Albemarle declined to share any details about the chemical leak. She said local residents should contact [the Office of Emergency Management] or the Columbia County Sheriff's Office for information about the leak.” Albemarle produces brominated flame retardants and biocides in Magnolia.

  • Massive Fire, shelter-in-place, Carus Chemical, LaSalle, Illinois

    January 11, 2023
    Residents in a three-block radius were advised to shelter-in-place after a massive blaze at the facility caused billowing plumes of smoke over the neighborhood. Additionally: “La Salle police said that a green-colored oxidizer had been released in the area and warned residents not to touch the substance.” Carus produces potassium permanganate, which is used to treat drinking water, wastewater and industrial chemicals, as well as phosphates, polymers and other chemicals.

  • Ongoing criminal investigations, Bi-Qem, Florence, Massachusetts

    March 2022-current
    After an unreported formaldehyde spill in March 2022 and a “major water leak” that caused damage to a resin plan in August 2022, the EPA’s criminal investigation unit conducted a surprise inspection in January 2023. Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra issued a statement in March acknowledging “a host of issues” within the factory, but the results of the recent inspection were not revealed. Bi-Qem, formerly known as Chemiplastica, produces thermosetting resins and compounds.

  • Ammonia leak, shelter-in-place, Chelan Fruit Cooperative, Brewster, Washington

    January 8, 2023
    Officials issued a shelter-in-place for residents after a “good-sized” cloud of ammonia wafted from a fruit warehouse.

  • Ammonia leak, Smithfield Foods, Tar Heel, North Carolina

    January 6, 2023
    The factory was evacuated and four employees were treated at a hospital for nausea after an An ammonia leak in the refrigerated section of a pork processing factory hospitalized four employees. The factory which employs 4,500 people was evacuated.

  • Fire, evacuations, Tiger-Sul Products, Atmore, Alabama

    January 6, 2023
    A home and country club were evacuated after a fire at an agrochemical warehouse caused the release of molten sulfur, which re-solidified in a local creek. The plant produces sulfur bentonite, an additive used by the agriculture industry. It was rebuilt in 2018 after being struck by lightning and destroyed in 2017.

  • Fire, Celanese Industrial, Pasadena, Texas

    January 6, 2023
    A fire broke out after what was reported as “an incident” occurred at the facility. The Celanese Clear Lake Plant produces methanol, which is a highly flammable toxic chemical.

  • Chemical leak, one hospitalized, Univar Solutions, Kent, Washington

    January 4, 2023
    A chemical tanker leaked an unnamed substance in a warehouse. One person was hospitalized and five others were treated at the scene. Univar is a national chemical distributor.

  • Industrial chemical leak, Sunbelt Forest Products, Brunswick, Georgia

    January, 2023
    Residents discovered a broken pipeline from a wood preserving facility was releasing industrial chemicals to a local creek used by residents for fishing. The leak was discovered after residents reported murky water and dead fish in the creek. "Sunbelt Forestry Products is a wood preserving facility, so we know there's wood preserving chemicals in the water," said Rachel Thompson, executive director at the Glynn County Environmental Coalition. "And that, as of now, we know it includes copper carbonate. But there could be other chemicals within those solutions as well."

  • Organic peroxide leak, school evacuated, V2X aerospace services, Madison, Mississippi

    January 27, 2023
    A FedEx delivery person noticed something leaking from his truck en route to V2X. Students at a school a mile away began experiencing sore throats. The school, a nearby Wendy’s, a Levi Strauss plant and several other businesses were evacuated. Highly flammable and explosive, organic peroxide can emit irritating and toxic gases, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. V2X (recently renamed from Vertex) provides operational support services to the aerospace industry.

  • Hydraulic oil leak, Anthony Timberlands mill, Malvern, Arkansas

    Several local ranchers reported cattle being sickened and dying after drinking from Chatman Creek near a paper mill. The Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) investigated after several residents filed complaints. On December 22, 2022 the ADEQ issued a response to the complaints stating "unpermitted discharges" occurred when the facility failed to adhere to procedures. "It appears that [Anthony Timberlands] have been not following water permits and was using waste water contaminated with hydraulic oil to continuously spray on their wood products as a dust suppressant."

  • Oil spill, Flint Hills Resources oil terminal, Corpus Christi, Texas

    December 24, 2022
    A pipeline failure at the Koch family-owned crude oil terminal led to the release of 14,000 gallons of crude oil into Corpus Christi Bay and Nueces bays.

  • Carbon dioxide leak, Foster Farms poultry plant, Fresno, California

    December 23, 2022
    A high-pressure carbon dioxide line at a food processing plant developed a leak. All employees were evacuated while firefighters struggled, initially unsuccessfully, to shut down the leak.

  • Ammonia leak, one fatality, Home Market Foods, Norwood, Massachusetts

    December 19, 2022
    One contractor died, while another was hospitalized after a pipeline was accidentally severed causing the release of ammonia. Home Market Foods processes chicken, beef and pork products for food brands such as Bahama Mama, Eisenberg, and Cooked Perfect, according to the company’s website.

  • Fire, Westlake Chemical Polymers, Sulphur, Louisiana

    December 18, 2022
    A fire at a large chemical producer facility was accompanied by explosions and a “small” release. The exact chemicals that were released were not reported. This Westlake Polymers plant produces polyethylene resins.

  • Chemical release, two injuries, Butterfield Color, Aurora, Illinois

    December 15, 2022
    Two incompatible chemicals were inadvertently mixed at a decorative concrete product facility. Responding firefighters wearing protective clothing and breathing apparatuses experienced burning sensations, left immediately, and called for hazardous materials responders. The firefighters were treated for chemical irritation and released. Butterfield Color produces decorative concrete products.

  • Sulfuric acid spill, Southwest Pickling, Durant, Oklahoma

    December 12, 2022
    A valve at an industrial metal cleaning operation released 2,000 gallons of sulfuric acid.

  • Oil spill, TC Energy Keystone pipeline, Washington County, Kansas

    December 10, 2022
    A rupture in the Keystone oil pipeline was reported to have released 588,000 gallons of tar sands oil into Mill Creek in rural Kansas. The Keystone pipeline runs 2,700 miles between the tar-sands drilling area of Alberta, Canada, and refineries in Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. It was built in 2012. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, now abandoned, was to be a larger-diameter, shorter-length extension of the tar sands pipeline network.

  • Sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid spill, BS&B Safety Systems, Tulsa, Oklahoma

    December 9, 2022
    A fire protection product manufacturer spilled phosphoric acid and sulfuric acid. Employees evacuated the building; two were taken to the hospital with respiratory complaints BS&B Safety makes safety valves, flame arresters and explosion protection systems, according to the company’s website.

  • Explosion, injuries, evacuations, C6-Zero, Marengo, Iowa

    December 8, 2022
    An explosion at a biodiesel plant injured at least 10 people. Local residents were evacuated. “We evacuated several different areas and houses around us due to wind concerns, chemical concerns, and the fire,” Iowa State Patrol Trooper Bob Conrad was reported saying. C6-Zero converts used roofing shingles into biodiesel fuel. It was later reported that the smoke detectors, sprinkler system and fire hydrants at the facility were inoperable. It was also reported that C6-Zero had failed to provide an inventory of hazardous chemicals stored and used at the site to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

  • Hydrochloric acid vapor, evacuations, Momentive, Waterford, NY

    December 7, 2022
    An adhesives factory released hydrochloric acid vapors from a tank undergoing cleaning, and the facility was evacuated. The company asked residents from four nearby homes to evacuate as well. The company’s website says that Momentive provides silicones and specialty materials to a wide range of industries.

  • Ammonia leak, school evacuation, CF Industries, Donaldsonville, Louisiana

    December 1, 2022
    An ammonia leak at a chemical plant caused the evacuation of Donaldsonville Primary School, which is separated from the factory by a sugar cane field. The Ascension Parish’s Sheriff’s office also closed several local roadways near the facility. According to CF Industries website, “CF Industries' Donaldsonville Complex is located on 1,400 acres along the west bank of the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana. It is the world's largest and most flexible ammonia production facility, serving customers on every continent.” CF Industries is one of three plants profiled in the 2021 Coming Clean report, “, Unprepared for Disaster: Chemical Hazards in the Wake of Hurricane Ida.

  • Fire, Wetwear Custom Wetsuits, Pembroke Park, Florida

    November 30, 2022
    A fire at a wetsuit manufacturing plant caused heavy, acrid smoke due to the neoprene component in the wetsuits, which can be highly toxic when burned.

  • Toxic fire suppressant spill, U.S. Navy Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage, Honolulu, Hawaii

    November 29, 2022
    More than 1,100 gallons of the Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) spilled from the US Navy’s fuel storage facility.Hawaii Department of Health officials condemned the release of toxic flame retardants. “This is egregious. AFFF contains PFAS forever chemicals — groundwater contamination could be devastating to our aquifer”, Kathleen Ho was reported saying. Cause of the incident is under investigation. Since 2020 several states enacted legislation restricting the use of AFFF over concerns of its persistent toxicity. The Navy announced plans to shutter the facility by 2027 earlier in November 2022. The facility had been criticized a year ago for a fuel leak that had contaminated drinking water and sickened military families (See Nov. 28, 2021)

  • Chemical discharge, Martinez Refinery Company, Martinez, California

    November 24, 2022
    An oil refinery discharged chemicals for a 12-hour period, which health officials brought to the owner’s attention. The chemical concoction was identified as a spent catalyst and sampling revealed the “substance contained higher-than-normal amounts of heavy metals such as aluminum, barium, chromium, nickel, vanadium, and zinc.”

  • Fire, evacuations and injuries, Guud Manufacturing, Grass Valley, Oregon

    November 20, 2022
    A fire at a hemp processing plant caused fears of explosions from a “large volume of combustible chemicals” stored at the facility. The incident appears to have caused the company to permanently close. Five employees suffered burns and the entire town of 150 residents was evacuated during the fire.

  • Fire, Valence Drilling Fluids, Shreveport, Louisiana

    November 20, 2022
    A warehouse filled with drilling fluid chemicals caught alight. Thirty firefighters responded. The building was unoccupied at the time of the blaze.

  • Fire, Chevron Refinery, El Segundo, California

    November 8, 2022
    A fire at a Chevron refinery could be seen miles away. The El Segundo Refinery is capable of processing 290,000 barrels of crude oil a day and processes mostly gasoline, diesel and fuel oil from the crude, according to the company.

  • Explosions, fire, evacuations, Symrise, Brunswick, Georgia

    November 7, 2022
    Three explosions set off a massive fire at a Symrise flavor and fragrance factory. Fearing the release of hydrogen peroxide pyrene, officials ordered 100 families to evacuate and placed two school to shelter-in-place.

  • Methane leak, Equitrans Midstream Storage Well, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

    November 6 - November 16, 2022
    A gas storage cavern released as much as one billion cubic feet of methane over a period of several days. It was reported, “Residents living in the area were first alerted to the leak by a very loud hissing or roaring sound, and the odor of natural gas.” The company said it eventually plugged the leak by flooding the well. If this much methane was released, it could have the climate impact of more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next 20 years. (Material Research calculation based on weight of the released methane and the CO2-equivalent of methane.)

  • Fire, Saint-Gobain, Worcester, Massachusetts

    November 5, 2022
    Fire erupted after a container of iron pyrite caught fire and released hydrogen cyanide and acrid smoke. One employee was hospitalized. At its Worcester plant, Saint-Gobain manufactures grinding and cutting wheels for many different markets.

  • Fire, Valero Energy Corp.’s East Plant , Corpus Christi, Texas

    November 3, 2022
    Residents up to six miles away reported hearing a “rumbling and an explosion” before fire broke out at the refinery. No injuries were reported. “The East Plant includes a 93,000 bpd heavy, sour crude distillation unit, an 11,000-bpd (barrel-per-day) diesel-producing hydrocracker, a 55,000-bpd diesel hydrotreater, a 30,000-bpd heavy gas oil hydrotreater, a 12,000-bpd kerosene hydrotreater, 19,000-bpd and 12,000-bpd reformers and an 18,000-bpd coker,” Reuters reported.

  • Hydrochloric acid leak, 150 evacuated, Paulina, Louisiana

    November 2, 2022
    A train car carrying 20,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid was punctured in a derailment. An unknown amount of the respiratory irritant was released. It was reported that “that deputies were having to cover their mouths due to the fumes as they went door-to-door in an effort to get people to leave.” It was later reported that 10-12 residents had sought medical attention and “are having some severe issues possibly from this spill.”

  • Fire, explosions shelter-in-place Arawak Paving Company, Hammonton, New Jersey

    November 1, 2022
    A tank filled with xylene, used for making asphalt, exploded and caught fire prompting officials to recommend a shelter in place for local residents. Xylene is toxic to the nervous system.

  • “Vapor Plume”, evacuations, Wells Concrete, Cary, Illinois

    November 1, 2022
    Employees allegedly mixed chemicals in 55-gallon drums at the wrong concentrations, causing a chemical reaction and vapor plume. Employees dumped absorbent on the spill before they evacuated the building.

Older Incidents by Month

October 2022

Chemical release, shelter-in-place, Dow Material Sciences, Midland, Michigan

October 25, 2022 

A chemical release led to a shelter-in-place at the Dow Material Sciences operation in Dow Michigan Operations I-Park.  Four employees close to the release were evaluated for health impacts.  Dow did not disclose the chemical, but the city of Midland identified it as Dowtherm A, a heat transfer fluid. Dowtherm A contains biphenyl.  Potential health hazards include birth defects, and developmental and reproductive effects.


Ammonia leak, evacuations, Perfekta machining plant, Wichita, Kansas

October 25, 2022

A leak from a tanker truck in the parking lot of the aerospace machine shop plant led to the evacuation of the building. Three employees were treated on the scene for inhalation issues.


Fire, shelter-in-place, Wilbur-Ellis Fertilizer, Moses Lake, Washington

October 24, 2022

A massive fire at a fertilizer plant led to a shelter-in-place order and destroyed the wooden building.


Chlorine gas leak, evacuations, Greenwood Wastewater Treatment Plant, Greenwood, Louisiana

October 21, 2022 

A fire at a wastewater treatment facility caused a chlorine gas cloud to be released while officials scrambled to evacuate residents living close to the plant. The cause of the fire was not reported.


Fire, shelter-in-place, Valmont-Oklahoma Galvanizing, Claremore, Oklahoma

October 16, 2022 

Large plumes of thick black smoke released from a metal galvanizing business led authorities to order residents to shelter-in-place.


Ammonia leak, evacuations, Reddy Ice, Phoenix, Arizona

October 15, 2022

Residents and businesses near the ice manufacturing facility were advised to evacuate after a hazardous chemical alarm sounded. The Phoenix Fire Department was investigating the cause of the leak. 


Chemical fire, shelter-in-place, Sasol, Westlake, Louisiana

October 15, 2022 

The Office of Homeland Security issued a shelter-in-place order after a fire and explosion occurred at a petrochemical plant.  The section with the incident manufactures specialty alcohols.  Many residents complained that an emergency siren was not sounded. “We could be in that house and we’ve got air conditioners on, and that air conditioner draws all the fumes and that could kill us off,” Buddy Glover told KPLC-TV. Sirens at Sasol and other facilities in the Lake Charles area have not been functioning since Hurricane Ida struck in 2020.


Fire, Clean Earth Inc, Fernley, Nevada

October 13, 2022

Water used to put out a fire at a hazardous material recycling facility led to several explosions.


Chemical leak, AdvanSix, Chester, Virginia

October 8, 2022 

One person was hospitalized with “inhalation injuries” after an unnamed chemical leaked at the nylon resin factory. 


Fire, Shelter-in-Place, Resolute Forest Products, Menominee, Michigan

October 7, 2022 

A recycled paper warehouse fire caught fire and was destroyed. Authorities advised residents to shelter-in-place.  The mill’s manufacturing areas were not damaged.


Fire, former American Rubber Company building, La Porte, Indiana

October 5, 2022

A massive fire at the former rubber factory, which was being used to warehouse highly flammable hand sanitizers, caused officials to issue an air quality alert for local residents. The building was destroyed. It had been shuttered in the 1990s after four employees were killed in a boiler explosion. 


Toxic vapors, Northwest Packing, Vancouver, Washington

October 4, 2022 

A food packing plant was evacuated after two chemicals, only identified as “acids,” were accidentally mixed, causing toxic vapors. Northwest Packing is a producer of private labeled and brand name canned fruit products such as pears, cranberries, plums and cherries, according to the company’s website


Ammonia leak, JR Simplot, Grand Forks, North Dakota

October 3, 2022 

Workers evacuated a frozen potato processing plant after a leak of ammonia was discovered. 

September 2022

Fire, TransChemical Warehouse, St. Louis, Missouri

September 28, 2022 

Nine workers evacuated a chemical warehouse, which suffered significant damage. TransChemical said the fire burned “consumer chemicals that are generally used as cleaning agents for mechanical parts.” TransChemical distributes specialty chemicals to the food and consumer industries. 


Hazardous material spill, nine hospitalized, Hope Material Inc., Riverside, CA

September 23, 2022 

A spill of what was only described as caustic material caused the evacuation of 300 workers Nine people including two firefighters went to the hospital. Local news described Hope Material as a recycling facility. 


Two fatalities in fire at BP Husky Toledo plant, Oregon, Ohio

September 21, 2022

An oil refinery was taken offline after two employees, who were brothers, died from injuries sustained in a “major fire” at the facility. Cause of the fire is under investigation. The Toledo plant was also the scene of a fire in November 2021, in which there were no injuries. The refinery can process up to 160,000 barrels of crude a day, according to BP. 


Chemical combustion, Akzo Nobel, Memphis, Tennessee

September 16, 2022

An unintentional delivery of organic peroxide was left outside the warehouse and temperatures caused the chemical to combust. All employees were safely evacuated from the facility. 


Chemical release, evacuations, Hygenic Corp., Akron, Ohio

September 15, 2022 

An unidentified chemical was released from a rubber product manufacturer and caused authorities to evacuate neighboring businesses and close local roads. 


Explosion and fire, three injuries, Chord Energy oil well, Montrail, North Dakota

September 2, 2022 

An explosion and fire at an oil well hospitalized three contract workers. They were servicing the well.  An investigation is underway regarding the cause of the incident.

August 2022

Peracetic acid spill, Perdue Farms, Washington, Indiana

August 25, 2022 

A forklift tipped over causing a 250 gallon container of peracetic acid to spill in a livestock feed factory. Several employees were treated for respiratory distress. Washington Fire Chief Steve Walden said, “It is a feed grade chemical that is used to kill bacteria. In the air it is also an irritant.” The building was evacuated while the spill was addressed. Perdue Farms is part of Perdue Agribusiness, which converts grains and oilseeds into soybean oil, crude soy oil and protein feed for farm livestock, according to the company’s website.


One fatality, four others hospitalized, hydrogen sulfide release, U.S. Ecology, Canton Township, Ohio

August 22, 2022 

Hydrogen sulfide released from a waste management facility killed one person and hospitalized four other people. The local fire department stated that the release was confined to the plant and there were no concerns outside the facility. The cause of the release is under investigation. 

This location treats hazardous waste, according to the company website


Fire, Mace Polymer and Additives (a/k/a Mace Adhesives & Coatings), Dudley, Massachusetts

August 18, 2022 

A fire broke out in an unoccupied building. The fire and subsequent chemical explosions destroyed the facility. “Mace Polymers deals with harmful chemicals, so the site is considered a high hazard facility.” According to the company website, Mace Polymers focuses on the development of polyurethane materials, such as dispersions, solvents and flame retardants. According to Mace’s 2021 report to EPA, the plant has on site up to 10,000 pounds of diisocyanates and ethylene chloride and 100,000 pounds of chromium compounds.


Styrene leak from rail car, evacuations and road closures, Perris, California

August 12, 2022

A rail car containing styrene overheated and began leaking styrene, causing about 170 businesses, residents and schools in a half-mile radius to be evacuated and parts of a local freeway to be shut down. An explosion was feared and the train was deemed unapproachable by officials who used drones to monitor its temperature. It was reported that 188,000 pounds of styrene was emitted from the railcar. Styrene is a carcinogenic and highly toxic chemical that is used in the manufacture of latex, polystyrene and synthetic rubber.  


One injured in explosion, fire, Interco Trading Warehouse, Madison, Illinois

August 10, 2022 

One employee suffered burns after an explosion in a recycling center. The subsequent fire, which became so big it was visible to weather radar services, caused officials to issue a shelter in place for residents within a one-mile radius. The Illinois governor later issued a disaster proclamation. The cause of the incident is under investigation. Interco Trading is described as a global “metaltronics recycler”. According to the company website, Interco recycles “nonferrous metal, industrial recycling, computers, electronics and electronic vehicle batteries.”


Fire, Bekaert Corp., Rome, Georgia

August 9, 2022

A power surge knocked out fans in a vent for flammable chemicals used at a bead wire manufacturing plant. “When workers at the plant attempted to restart those fans it ignited, built up fumes and also sprayed some of the chemical on the ground in the plant,” according to a local report. Bekaert supplies bead wire to US tire manufacturers. Bekaert has up to 10 pounds of hydrochloric acid on site, according to a 2021 filing with EPA. 


Fire, Henkel Co., Salisbury, North Carolina

August 9, 2022

Fire and hazmat crews were called in to address a fire at an adhesives factory. The cause of the fire is under investigation. According to a Henkel filing with EPA, in 2021 the facility has on-site up to 10 million pounds of toluene and 500 million pounds of acrylic acid.


Chlorine leak, shelter in place, Clearon Corporation, South Charleston, West Virginia

August 4, 2022

A 30-gallon drum of chlorine tablets decomposed and caused a haze and a smell in the area. Officials issued a short-lived shelter in place order. Clearon is a manufacturer of specialty chemicals for water treatment.  According to a Clearon filing with EPA, in 2021 the facility has on site up to 100 pounds of ammonia and 10 million pounds of chlorine.


Magnesium silicate release, Heritage Plastics, Picayune, Mississippi

August 2, 2022

Two workers from a funeral home near Heritage Plastics found their building covered with chemicals and began experiencing respiratory issues. The two were treated and released from a local hospital. Authorities determined the chemical to be dry magnesium silicate that originated from Heritage Plastics. According to the company’s website, Heritage Plastics manufactures calcium carbonate concentrates for the plastics industry. 


Chemical fire, shelter in place, Prime Eco Group, Wharton Texas

August 2, 2022

A chemical fire, which burned for 8 hours, caused officials to issue a shelter in place for residents near the facility. Portions of State Highway 60 were closed. The fire caused significant damage to a portion of the plant.  Prime Eco did not disclose to reporters what chemicals were involved in the conflagration but state officials later told ABC13 that “the building where the fire happened had an unknown amount of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, several totes of mineral oil, and a couple of drums of pentene and turpentine inside.” Prime Eco manufactures specialty chemicals for the oil, gas and construction industries. 


Hexavalent chromium release, Tribar Technologies, Wixom, Michigan

August 1, 2022 

The state of Michigan opened a criminal investigation into the release of “several thousand gallons” of carcinogenic hexavalent chromium into the Huron River via the city wastewater treatment plant. Regulators identified the source as Tribar, a company that provides auto trim and finishing services. Officials advised local residents to avoid Huron River, where the Wixom’s wastewater treatment plant discharges. They warned people  not to swim, stand, or drink water from the Huron River, water plants with this river water, or eat fish caught in this area of the river. Hexavalent chromium is a carcinogen, asthmagen, mutagen, and reproductive and developmental toxicant.

July 2022

Excessive ethylene oxide emissions, Parter Sterilization Service, Carson, California

July 30, 2022

The Air Quality Management District issued a notice of violation against Pater Sterilization after it discovered the company released ethylene oxide gas above the agency’s threshold levels. “Air quality officials issued a notice of violation to the company after samples of the air showed high levels of the gas,” reported  local news.. “Hundreds of homes and even an elementary school are within 2,000 feet of the facility. People exposed ethylene oxide may experience headaches, nausea and vomiting among other symptoms, but long-term exposure to the gas can lead to cancer.” Parter Sterilization provides medical device manufacturers with sterilization services.


Methanol leak, three hospitalized, Avantor Inc., Wheatfield, New York

July 27, 2022 

Four hundred gallons of methanol were reported to have leaked. Three employees were transported to the hospital for evaluation and decontamination after 400 gallons of methanol leaked from a chemical plant. The cause of the spill was under investigation. Avantor provides specialty chemicals to the pharmaceutical, healthcare, education and applied technology industries, according to the company website.


Chemical leak, evacuations, WeylChem, Elgin, South Carolina

July 27, 2022  

Workers were unable to close a valve at a chemical plant, causing a leak and cloud of vapor. The company manufactures “specialty chemicals used in pharmaceuticals, flavor enhancers, herbicides and pesticides” and “has a long history of being cited for state and federal environmental violations” according to news reports.


Flaring, thick smoke, ChevronPhillips, Baytown, Texas

July 26, 2022 

A power outage caused excessive flaring and the emission of thick black smoke from the company’s petrochemical plant. 


Anhydrous ammonia leak, shelter in place, Lineage Logistics, Forest Grove, Oregon

July 25, 2022  

Forty-five emergency workers including two hazmat team responded to a leak in a cold storage warehouse. A shelter in place was advised for local businesses while the building was monitored and ventilated. Lineage Logistics specializes in refrigerated storage and transportation. 


Several treated for chemical exposure, Ultium Cells, Lordstown, Ohio

July 23, 2022 

Two employees were taken to the hospital while others were treated on site after being exposed to an unnamed chemical. According to a news report, “In a statement, Ultium Cells said ‘air samples were taken in the area with a certified meter, and all tests were at safe levels.’ When we asked Ultium what chemical their employees were exposed to, their representative responded with the same above statement. We also asked why employees would need to be hospitalized if levels were safe, but the Ultium representative did not respond to the question.” Ultium Cells is a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions that manufactures car batteries.


Fire, Floor Coatings, Etc. New Castle Delaware

July 22, 2022 

A three-alarm fire at a fluid-flooring company exposed firefighters to solvents. The firefighters had to decontaminate after quenching the fire. Floor Coatings Etc. installs resinous floors and manufactures all of their own materials, according to the company website. 


Chemical Spill, shelter in place, Allnex Chemical, East St. Louis, Missouri

July 23, 2022 

A tanker truck leaked an unknown chemical, which caused people to complain of nausea and burning eyes. A precautionary shelter in place was issued to local residents until the smell dissipated. Less than two weeks prior, the same facility was the site of an explosion that injured two workers (see July 10).


Multiple chemical releases including iodine vapor and ethylene glycol, Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport, Tennessee

July 22, 2022 

Initially residents reported seeing a purple vapor being emitted from a coal-to-plastics facility an hour before city officials were alerted to the releases. Eventually, in addition to the plume which the company claimed contained iodine vapor and methyl iodide, Eastman acknowledged its released 600 gallons of a “mutagenic chemical” into the South Fork Holston River. The chemical was identified as ethylene glycol. The company blamed the releases on a power outage.

Explosion, fires, evacuation, Johnson Matthey Catalysts, Sevierville, Tennessee

July 21, 2022 

An explosion, and concerns for a second explosion, prompted the evacuation of a portion of a metal catalyst plant. Company officials believe that the explosion was caused by nickel aluminum powder. Nickel aluminum catalysts are carcinogenic asthmagens and are toxic when inhaled, according to Pharos. They are mainly to produce sorbitol. 

Solvent fire, evacuations, shelter-in-place, Woodward Inc., aerospace facility, Valencia, California

July 20, 2022 

A jet fuel tank caught fire at an aerospace company. The building was evacuated and several local businesses were advised to shelter in place while a hazmat crew responded. The material, which was only identified as being a solvent, was being tested to determine the cause of the incident. Woodward manufactures motion control systems for aircraft. 

Fire, shelter-in-place, Tri-County Stockdale Company, Shorewood, Illinois

July 19, 2022  

A massive fire at a landscaping and farm supply facility sent heavy potentially-toxic smoke into the residential neighborhood. Authorities issued a shelter-in-place for a two-mile radius surrounding the facility. Out of six buildings on the property, four were reported to be at a total loss.

Hydrogen fluoride release, shelter-in-place, Honeywell Specialty Chemicals, Carville, Louisiana

July 18, 2022  

The facility went into a shelter-in-place mode after a leak in a line containing hydrogen fluoride. One employee was treated for exposure. Honeywell makes fluorinated gas, including refrigerants and blowing agents, at the Carville plant.  In October 2021, a worker was killed by another incident. At that time, The Advocate reported, “the Honeywell Geismar plant in Carville where a worker was killed earlier this month has had 11 accidental releases of toxic or flammable chemicals in the past three years.”  

Ammonia leak, National Beef, Hummels Wharf, Pennsylvania

July 16, 2022  

Forty-six employees were treated for exposure to ammonia gas at a meatpacking facility. The building was evacuated after a valve failure led to the release of an estimated 3,000 pounds of ammonia. Residents near the plant were advised to shelter in place and keep doors and windows closed while fire crews worked to decontaminate the area. 


Chemical fire, Valance Drilling Fluids, Shreveport, Louisiana

July 15, 2022 

A pallet of chemicals caught fire at the warehouse which operates to support the company’s headquarters operation in Edmond, Oklahoma. The drilling chemicals were reported not to have been hazardous.

Seven injured, explosion and fire, Amorock Polymer Concrete, Boulder, Colorado

July 11, 2022 

A massive explosion sent seven employees to the hospital and caused serious structural damage.  The cause of the explosion wasn’t immediately known and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it will conduct an investigation. Amorock makes polymer concrete that incorporates resin as the binding agent. The Boulder City Review reported: “It is unknown what caused the explosion, but at the time of the event, work involving polymer was being done.The chemicals used in the manufacturing process pose a risk for cancer and other deadly lung diseases to those in the area. The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued five serious violations to Amorock three months ago, with penalties totaling more than $12,000.” 

Two injured, explosion and fire, Allnex Chemical, St. Louis, Missouri

July 10, 2022 

An explosion in a tank injured two people and caused a structural fire that damaged the building. Fire crews also reported a chemical spill. The chemical was not identified.  Allnex Chemical produces adhesives, coatings and specialty chemicals. (See also July 23, 2022)

Explosion, Gold Eagle Cooperative Fertilizer, Hardly, Idaho

July 7, 2022

A bin of sulfur caught fire and exploded as it was being moved to a mixing bin via conveyor belt. There were no injuries but some structural damage to the fertilizer plant was reported.

Chemical leak, evacuations, PfP Industries, Katy, TX 

July 2, 2022

A fire was reported to have caused the leak of bleach. A voluntary evacuation notice was issued for a half mile radius surrounding the plant. According to PfP, the site produces polyacrylamide, guar, and other chemicals in service to the hydraulic fracturing fossil fuel industry.

June 2022

Ammonia leak, McKinley Paper Mill, Port Angeles Washington

June 25, 2022

An unknown amount of ammonia spilled from a 16,000 gallon tank filled with “a 15 percent concentration of aqueous ammonia.” It was reported that the leak was limited to a containment area and was not released into waterways or the environment.  

Ammonia leak, evacuations Arctic Glacier ice plant, Marshall, Minnesota

June 23, 2022

A mechanical issue led to the release of ammonia at the ice factory. Surrounding businesses at the industrial park where the plant was located were evacuated while hazmat teams ventilated the building. No injuries were reported. 

Gas leak, shelter-in-place, Haskins Steel Co., Spokane, Washington

June 22, 2022

Nitrogen and oxygen leaking from high pressure manufacturing vessels in a steel fabrication facility caused the building to be evacuated. A shelter in place was issued for the surrounding community. 

Fire, Oxy Vinyls plastics factory, La Porte, Texas

June 21, 2022

A fire at a plastics production facility raised concerns about the potential release of ethylene oxide, but no “protective measures” for the community were advised by officials. The fire was reported to have started in a pump and was extinguished in three hours. Oxy Vinyls manufactures vinyl chloride monomer and polychloride vinyl (PVC).

One fatality, one injury, Lhoist Chemical Lime Plant, Ripplemead, Virginia

June 20, 2022

One contractor was killed after being engulfed in lime kiln dust during a routine excavation procedure. A second contractor received minor burns from the lime dust while trying to assist his colleague. Lhoist is an international supplier of lime, limestone and clay, according to the company’s website. The mine was closed while the cause of the incident was under investigation.

Ammonia leak, five injuries, Pilgrim’s Pride, Gainesville, Georgia

June 16, 2022

An ammonia leak at a poultry processing plant resulted in the hospitalization of five employees. Around 700 more workers were evacuated. (See similar January 21, 2022, ammonia leak at Pilgrim’s Pride in Canton, Georgia, which hospitalized three employees.)

Hydrogen sulfate leak, multiple injuries, Pergamena Leather, Montgomery, New York

June 16, 2022 

A hydrogen sulfate leak sickened several people; some were temporarily unconscious. Pergamena is a tannery and leatherwork company offering specialty leathers and parchments. 

Oil-based effluent leak, Lockhart Chemical, Flint, Michigan

June 15, 2022

Thirty thousand gallons of oil leaked into the Flint River, leading to a “no contact” order.  EPA used chemical fingerprinting to determine Lockhart Chemical as the source of the leak. Lockhart manufactures metalworking fluids and greases.

Fire, LyondellBasell Industries Houston Refinery, Houston, Texas

June 14, 2022 

A fire broke out in a coker in LyondellBasell’s petrochemical plant in Houston. Cokers process residual oil into commodities such as motor oil feedstocks or petroleum coke. LyondellBasell had planned to permanently shut down the 263,776 barrel per day refinery at the end of 2023.

Explosion, three injured, Quasar Energy Group, Wooster, Ohio

June 14, 2022 

An explosion at a biosolids processing plant sent three employees to the hospital. It was reported that the explosion occurred in a chamber used to process biosolids such as food wastes. “Quasar Energy Group, based in Cleveland, is a waste management and renewable energy firm that designs, builds, and operates anaerobic digestion systems in North America.”

Fire, Intl-Matex Tank Terminals, St. Rose, Louisiana

June 13, 2022

A fire at a petroleum bulk storage terminal was contained within an hour.

Chemical leak, Indorama Ventures, Sulphur, Louisiana

June 10, 2022

Maintenance activities at a petrochemical plant led to a leak of pyro naphtha, a chemical mixture containing benzene, occurred during maintenance activities. According to a company spokesman, air and soil quality were affected and state and federal agencies were notified. A local roadway was shut down when air monitors detected benzene at levels of 1.8 parts per million. It was reported that two to five barrels of the chemical were spilled in the incident. Indorama produces ethylene and propylene at its Sulphur location. 

Explosion, fire, Freeport LNG, Quintana, Texas

June 8, 2022

A liquid natural gas export facility exploded and caught fire.  No evacuation orders were issued although company officials told the media they were uncertain as to what chemicals, if any, could have been released in the explosion. Later it was reported that the facility, which is a large exporter of liquid natural gas, would be shut for at least three weeks.  Residents were concerned that the explosion could have led to a “nightmare scenario” given the proximity of other chemical plants. 

Chemical fire, Dirats Laboratories, Westfield, Massachusetts

June 8, 2022 

Hazmat crews were called in to identify the chemical involved in the fire, while a “large area” surrounding the facility was closed off due to high winds. According to the company website, Dirats “performs mechanical testing, chemical analysis and metallurgical evaluation for aerospace, automotive, defense, electronics, medical, power generation” and other industries.  

Chemical spill, PVS Chemicals, Painsville, Ohio

June 3, 2022 

A spill of 150 gallons of blended acid was brought under control by employees who then evacuated the building. The spill was reported to have been caused by a damaged container. 

PVS sells chemicals used in the agricultural, water treatment, oil & gas, electronics and other industries.

One hospitalized, 20 injured in a hazmat release, Best Buy Distribution, Dublin, Georgia

June 2, 2022 

A retail chain’s warehouse building was evacuated after more than 20 employees complained of respiratory and eye irritations from an unknown powdered substance. One person was hospitalized but their condition was not reported. Hazmat teams worked on decontaminating the building.

May 2022

Massive explosions, fire cause local evacuations, Nox-crete, Omaha, Nebraska

May 31, 2022

An entire neighborhood near the facility was evacuated and firefighters were reported to be proceeding with caution because of the uncertainty regarding which chemicals were involved in the conflagration. Plumes of thick black smoke enveloped the area. According to reports Nox-Crete had filed a notification of environmental concern with the city stating, “acids, bases, and solvents in large quantities were involved in the fire, but no details are available yet. The company will provide additional information when it becomes available.” However, it did identify that “mineral spirits (liquid), naphtha (liquid) and acid NOS (liquid)" were released. “Multiple agencies are working to determine all chemicals in the warehouse and what their impacts may be.” Nox-crete provides chemical additives used in concrete, according to the company website.  

Entire city ordered to shelter in place, hazardous material fire, Minnesota Valley Irrigation Wadena, Minnesota

May 30, 2022 

The entire city of Wadena, Minnesota (population 4,124) was ordered to shelter in place after a fire at Minnesota Valley Irrigation. The inferno destroyed the facility. Wadena Police said, “The cloud of smoke is not dangerous to breath in, however we are asking residents to shelter in place. We recommend that you close your windows and shut off your air conditioning.” Emergency responders were temporarily removed from the scene after a tornado alert was issued. The facility had produced sprinklers and other irrigation equipment.

Sulfuric acid leak, Pixelle Specialty Solutions, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

May 26, 2022 

A leak of 400 gallons of sulfuric acid occurred at a specialty paper mill. While officials asked the public to avoid the area, evacuations were not issued. 

Phosphorus trichloride leak, Lanxess Chemical, Charleston, South Carolina

May 24, 2022 

Phosphorus trichloride leaked in a containment building of Lanxess’ flame retardant and agrochemical production plant.  The company said the toxic gas was contained on site and that “Rosemont residents were notified of the leak, but Idell Frazier Sass, said she didn’t learn of the incident until a Charleston City Paper reporter called her. Sass lives on the north end of the community closest to the plant. ‘Nobody told me anything,’ she said this week. ‘I am concerned. I’ll need to get out if something really, really happens.’” Phosphorus trichloride is fatal if swallowed and causes serious eye and skin damage, according the Pharos Project.

Magnesium fire, Unnamed Recycling plant, phoenix, Arizona

May 22, 2022

In addition to the main fire, hazmat crews were called in to address spot fires caused by exploding magnesium, including some that landed near a television news crew.

Hazardous mixture at chemical distributor endangers community,  LabDirect, LLC, Old Saybrook, Connecticut

May 19, 2022

Police and crews from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms conducted two planned explosions of what was described as hazmat materials at a chemical distributor. Some reports indicate local businesses were evacuated.  It was reported the incident was “prompted by mixing and synthesizing dangerous chemicals.” According to the company website, LabDirect provides “critical reagents” to “the independent chemistry community.”   Federal officials opened a criminal investigation. “Connecticut State Police confirmed to Channel 3 that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) requested the state police bomb squad to help its investigators at LabDIRECT LLC,” reported local newsThe following day  the building was declared uninhabitable and shut down along with the entire street leaving “other companies on the street with no way to conduct business.”

Fire, PPG Industries, Springdale, Pennsylvania

May 11, 2022

Workers were evacuated from the facility after it was reported that vents were emitting smoke Smoke and flames were reportedly emitting from vents inside a PPG Industries plant, leading to an evacuation. The fire was brought under control within an hour and caused minimal damage, according to the company. PPG produces coatings and resins at its Springdale plant. 

One injured, chemical fire, Imperative Chemicals, Midland, Texas

May 11, 2022 

A spark was said to have ignited two 55 gallon drums, seriously injuring an employee who was offloading chemicals. News service Yourbasin reported, “They were mixing or off-loading some chemical and somehow, it ignited,” said Midland County Fire Marshal Justin Bunch. “We got two flammable liquids involved: toluene and methanol… What they were trying to mix them for, I don’t know. We’re still trying to investigate that.” Imperative Chemical Partners offers chemicals and services to oil and gas companies operating in the Permian Basin. 

Four exposed, hundreds evacuated, chemical leak, Dura-Tech, Mansfield, Texas

May 10, 2022

A leak of nitric acid forced the evacuation of 260 employees, four of whom were treated by paramedics for exposure to the chemical. Hazmats crews were reported to have been sprayed down after being exposed to the situation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Exposure to nitric acid can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and mucous membrane; it can also cause delayed pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, bronchitis, and dental erosion. Nitric acid is highly corrosive. Workers may be harmed from exposure to nitric acid.” Cause of the leak is under investigation.

“Dowtherm A” release, shelter in place, Geo Specialty Chemicals, Allentown, Pennsylvania

May 1, 2022 

Geo Specialties, owned by Arsenal Capital Partners, released Dow Chemical-made heat transfer fluid, leading officials to issue a shelter-in-place for a one-mile radius from the facility. The release reportedly left the area smelling like fabric softener for several hours. According to Dow’s material safety data sheet, the chemical is an “aspiration hazard” that “can enter lungs and cause damage.”  According to Geo Specialty’s website, it manufactures “water treatment chemicals; coating and resin additives; specialty acrylic monomers; and consumer additives.”

April 2022

Eight injured in fire, Valero Refinery, Mereaux, Louisiana

April 23, 2022 

Two employees and six contractors were taken to the hospital after a fire broke out at an oil refinery. Residents reported a loud boom and black and white smoke being emitted from the building. Local roads were closed until the “product burned off.” Cause of the fire is under investigation.


Fire, evacuations, Performance Minerals Corp (PMC), Ensley, Alabama

April 22, 2022 

A fire forced the evacuation of a two-block radius of the plant, and the plant itself, due to the presence of an unknown chemical. PMC supplies calcium sulfate for the composites industry, according to the company website.


Hydrogen explosion, five injured,Global Tungsten & Powders, Towanda, Pennsylvania

April 21, 2022 

A hydrogen explosion at a refractory metal powder plant injured five people.


Fire, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Leoti, Kansas

April 19, 2022 

A fire at the fertilizer company caused officials to evacuate people living within a half-mile radius of the facility. The evacuations were ordered when hazardous materials were discovered at the site. A Nutrien fertilizer plant in Sunnyside, Washington, was the site of a fire/evacuations on Feb 28, 2022.


Chlorine leak, shelter in place, Olin Chlor-Alkali Plant, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

April 18, 2022 

A compressor fire caused a chlorine leak that sent a “huge” cloud of the toxic gas to be released from the facility.  Residents in the Plaquemine area were ordered to shelter in place, an order that was lifted the following day. Olin issued a statement saying, “Monitoring confirms there is no risk of onsite or offsite exposure” to chlorine. Although it was initially reported that there were no injuries in the incident, subsequent reporting found that 23 people checked into local hospitals. A spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Quality said that the agency stood by its determination that the air quality was not at a level of concern. Olin’s Chlor-Alkali plant operates within a complex owned by Dow Chemical. Chlorine is used in the manufacture of petrochemical-based plastic including polyurethane and epoxies. 


Chlorine leak, evacuations, Central  Wastewater Treatment Plant, Bedford, Virginia

April 15, 2022 

A chlorine leak formed a toxic gas cloud.  Police evacuated 46 homes and seven businesses near the wastewater treatment plant. Four people were treated at a local hospital and released. 


Explosion, fire, injuries, evacuations, Tenawa Haven Midstream, Haven, Kansas

April 15, 2022 

An explosion ripped through a gas processing facility and ignited a fire.  Two people were hospitalized with minor injuries and residents within a two mile radius of the facility were evacuated. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.


Hydrochloric acid spill, Borghi USA, West Burlington, Iowa

April 14, 2022 

A broken pipe spilled a large amount of hydrochloric acid at a pipe manufacturing plant. The fire chief ordered the building to be evacuated due to the explosive nature of the chemical.


Flash Fire, One injury, ChampionX Chemical, Scott Louisiana

April 14, 2022 

An employee mixing chemicals was burned when static electricity caused a flash fire to erupt. The fire did not spread and the building sustained minor damage. The chemicals involved in the incident were not revealed. ChampionX provides equipment and technology for the upstream and midstream oil and gas industry, according to the company’s website.


Ammonia leak/shelter in place, Midland Farms, Menands, NY

April 13, 2022

Officials issued a shelter in place for village residents regarding what was reported to be an ammonia leak at a dairy.


Fire/Evacuations/School Closings, Taylor Farms, South Salinas, California

April 13, 2022 

A massive fire engulfed the Taylor Farms food processing plant. It set off fears an explosion would release a plume of ammonia into the surrounding neighborhoods. Portions of the area were evacuated while a shelter in place was issued for others. At least four Elementary Schools were closed because of the incident. It was reported that the facility contained up to 40,000 gallons of ammonia. The fire was started when a spark from a welding project ignited a wall. 


Arson, explosion, evacuations, Pacific Pride Industrial Fuel Station, Medford, Oregon 

April 12, 2022 

A huge chemical explosion resulted in a fuel fire and forced evacuations within a half-mile of the facility. Firefighters scrambled to control leaking fuel silos and used heavy foam to bring the situation under control. The fire destroyed four buildings. Up to 12,000 gallons of petroleum products, including lube oil, diesel and gasoline, were released into the local environment.  A 49-year-old man was arrested on April 22 on charges of first-degree arson, six counts of first-degree criminal mischief, and reckless endangering.


Massive chemical fire/hazardous fumes, Port Manatee Scrap Metal, Palmetto, Florida

April 10, 2022 

A pile of recycling material including metal, plastic and vehicles caught fire. The blaze spread beyond into an adjacent CSX train storage yard. Because of the intensity of the hazardous smoke, Manatee County government officials issued a no-fly zone within a half-mile radius of the fire and advised people to avoid the area.


Five-alarm fire/shelter-in -place orders, Home Depot, San Jose, California

April 9, 2022 

A massive fire at a Home Depot store caused officials to issue a shelter-in-place order for residents. The store as well as a pet clinic adjacent to the building were evacuated. The raging inferno became so hot its heat signature was detected from space. “Paint, paint thinner, lumber, all sorts of flammable materials, plastic lawn chairs, things that burn pretty readily and a lot of them and a large store – so challenges as far as that went,” SJFD Battalion Chief Brad Cloutier was reported saying. No injuries of humans or animals were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Local KTVU Fox 2 News reported: “One of the most perplexing and important questions that arson investigators are going to have to answer is: How can it be, with such a big building that has so many fire suppression systems, how could it burn almost completely to the ground?”   


Four-alarm Fire, Valero Energy and Amports, Benicia, California

April 9, 2022

A fire at a marine port terminal blazed for 24 hours before being extinguished. The terminal is used by Valero Energy, which operates a refinery next door. The fire was reported to have ignited silos filled with petroleum coke and also crept up a creosote-soaked wooden dock, which could only be approached by fireboats. San Francisco Baykeeper executive director Sejal Choksi-Chugh said, “It is clear that the Bay will suffer as well, and we will be following up with responsible agencies to determine the extent of the pollution damage done to the Bay.’” Officials also expressed concerns that the incident will “create major economic challenges for the region.”


Ethylene oxide spill, BCP Ingredients, Verona, Missouri

April 8, 2022 

A malfunctioning valve released 1,290 pounds of ethylene oxide from a railcar being offloaded at BCP Ingredients. BCP never notified local officials. It did report the incident to the National Response Center, which apparently took no further action. Local residents expressed frustration that they found out about the leak via an anonymous citizen, four days after the release, rather than from the company or any government agency. “Our city officials learned of this spill from a private citizen and NOT from the company, not EPA, DNR or county officials, all who were informed of this!,” a local woman wrote in a complaint.  EPA noted after the incident that facilities such as BCP “must coordinate response needs with local emergency planning and response organizations.”  Balchem uses ethylene oxide in the manufacture of animal food, nutritional supplement and oil well production products. Ethylene oxide is also repackaged for use in the sterilization of medical implements and spices, according to the company’s Risk Management Plan. In 2019 the regional EPA expressed concerns about the lack of information regarding air emissions at the BCP facility. According to the Monett Times, “the EPA had no equipment in Verona, or even anywhere in all of EPA’s Region 7, that could measure ethylene oxide emissions from the plant. EPA took its measurements on environmental impact from regional airports, incorporating meteorological data from wind records...Mayor Joseph Heck argued for a community survey showing cancer and other illnesses. Alderman Denise White offered to go door-to-door herself and document what people report." 


Propane explosion, fire Coleman Company, Wichita, Kansas

April 7, 2022 

A forklift punctured a propane tank setting off a chain reaction of propane tank explosions at a camp stove factory. According to a Fire Department Chief, over 1,000 one-pound propane tanks exploded in the incident. It was reported “The cylinders were exploding and launching several hundred feet in the air.” More than 80 firefighters were involved in defeating the blaze. 


Evacuation from Chlorine Leak, Milk Specialties, Fond du Lac, Michigan 

April 7, 2022

A “yellow fog” of chlorine gas emerged from a dietary supplement factory. Workers and local residents were advised to evacuate the area, a local railway line was closed, and delivery trucks were prevented from entering the area. The cause of the leak was under investigation. Milk Specialties produces “whey proteins, milk proteins, specialty proteins or hydrolysates” according to the company website


Styrene leak, Allnex, Louisville, Kentucky

April 7, 2022 

A coating resin plant released potentially hundreds of gallons of carcinogenic styrene into local sewers. City officials revealed this information after residents complained of a noxious odor. Residents reported being told conflicting information regarding the spill, some being told to leave, others to shelter in place. All complained about frequent odors. "You say leak. I say leak/dump. It happens too often, and you all haven't taken care of it," one resident was reported saying. Allnex was fined $15,000 and ordered to make improvements after  a 2010 spill at the Louisville location.


Fire, Twin Rivers Technologies, Quincy, Massachusetts

April 5, 2022

Coconut oil, which is used in the manufacture of detergents and personal care products, caught fire after machinery failure. “The system is being monitored and will remain shutdown until it is fully repaired and tested,” the company said. Twin Rivers produces oleochemicals which are derived from plant and animal fats and used in common consumer products. 


Hydrofluoric acid release, Marathon Petroleum Mandan Refinery, Mandan, North Dakota 

April 4, 2022 

Workers were evacuated after the facility released an unknown amount of hydrofluoric acid.. The leak was addressed with the use of water cannons. "They fired water cannons, which then react with the gas so it then becomes a liquid so it won't leave the site," a state environmental scientist was reported saying. An investigation into the cause of the leak was initiated. 

March 2022

Fire, shelter-in-place Flying Colors Imprinting Warehouse, Melvindale, Michigan

March 31, 2022

A massive fire caused officials to issue a shelter-in-place order and completely destroyed the warehouse. The building stored chemicals for a customized printing and screening business. “The fire also prompted a precautionary shelter-in-place order for nearby homes due to the possibility of chemicals in the air. Chemicals were "definitely a problem" for firefighters, said the Melvindale chief, who said they used ladders from three different trucks to get it under control,” according to a local news report.


Toluene Diisocyanate leak, shelter in place, Anderson Development Company, Adrian, Michigan

March 30, 2022

Residents within a half-mile radius were advised to shelter in place after problems with a batch of polyurethane at the plant caused a release of toluene diisocyanate (TDI), which is a carcinogen. Anderson Development Company is a specialty chemical manufacturer and a subsidiary of Mitsui Chemicals, according to the company’s website. Its products include polyurethane dispersions used in coating applications.


Oleum leak, AdvanSix, Hopewell, Virginia

March 29, 2022

The company reported the leak, which was discovered by employees, to local authorities. Employees worked to contain the leak and no injuries were reported. “Oleum is a thick and corrosive liquid made of sulfuric acid that is used in the refining of crude oil. When it comes in contact with air, it releases a pungent white cloud of sulfur trioxide. It can burn your eyes and cause respiratory problems if inhaled,” noted a report in the Progress-Index. AdvanSix uses oleum in the production of caprolactam, a feedstock of nylon polymer used in carpet fibers, and other plastics.


Molten aluminum spill, fire, Mercury Marine, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

March 27, 2022 

Molten aluminum spilled from a machine causing a blaze. The facility’s 30 employees to be evacuated. “Dry chemical fire extinguishers were needed to extinguish the fire and eliminate any potentially hazardous or explosive interaction the material might have with water,” according to a local news report. The plant molds recycled aluminum into components for boat engines.  


Explosion, fire, ExxonMobil Refinery, Lockwood, Montana

March 27, 2022

An explosion and fire rocked a refinery outside Billing, Montana. It started in a multi-story building that delivers crude to the refining process. The refinery, which is reported to employ its own emergency response team, was assisted by multiple agencies in getting the situation under control. “The ExxonMobil refinery spans 720 acres, and its products include gasoline, diesel, asphalt, butane and propane,” according to a news report.


Fire, Diamond Chemical Company, East Rutherford, New Jersey

March 25, 2022

A fire at a chemical plant was brought under control by firefighters within an hour. It was the third incident in three years at the facility, which produces industrial cleaning, disinfectant and sanitizing agents.


Chemical spill, Plaskolite Inc., Compton, California

March 24, 2022

Over 200 complaints over a “strong odor” permeating for miles away caused officials to trace the cause to an unnamed chemical at the plastic fabrication company. “I got lightheaded and dizzy. The smell got so intense I had to put on a mask,” a local resident was reported saying.  The chemical was identified as methyl methacrylate which was released from a ruptured bag. Plaskolite manufactures acrylic, polycarbonate and other plastic sheets.


Fire, evacuations, shelter in place, McCrum Potato Processing, Belfast, Maine

March 24, 2022

An early morning massive fire was reported to have started in a fryolator machine, ”The fire and the potential for toxic smoke caused the closure of schools in RSU 71, including Belfast Area High School, which is located less than a mile from the potato factory. Troy Howard Middle School was used as an evacuation center for the residents of Harbor Hill Nursing Home, located just across the Passagassawakeag River from the fire,” according to a local report. Officials also advised local residents to shelter in place. Of special concern was the facility’s storage of almost 10,000 pounds of ammonia, the detonation of which EPA officials said could have affected 3,900 people in a 2.2 mile radius. 


Sulfuric acid fire, Pepperidge Farms, Bloomfield, Connecticut 

March 23, 2022

Drums of sulfuric acid and caustic soda caught fire leading to an evacuation and shut down of the facility.  The chemicals were being stored outside the bakery under a tent.


Eleven Firefighters hospitalized, Thatcher Company, Williamson, New York

March 23, 2022

A massive fire was reported to have started in an area that was used for the storage of empty drums and totes at a chemical company. The building was evacuated. Local roadways were shut down. The company indicated that the blaze may have been caused by medicated soap residuals in some totes. Firefighters were hospitalized with minor injuries including smoke inhalation. Thatcher Group manufactures chemicals for a diverse number of industries including food, pharmaceutical, mining, laundry (including d-Limonene), oil & gas and water treatment, among others according to the company website


One fatality, one injured, explosion and fire, HazMat Emergency Response and Remediation (HERR) facility, Whiteville, North Carolina

March 21, 2022

One employee died after being airlifted to a hospital with burns and another suffered minor injuries after an explosion and fire at the privately owned and operated hazardous materials contractor.   News reports were contradictory. While some news reported only petroleum and gasoline being involved in the incident, an early report from The Robesonian reported no injuries but acknowledged a “small-scale” hazardous material release. It also said that residential pool tablets stored at the facility had caught fire. According to the company’s website:  “Hazmat Emergency Response and Remediation, Inc. (HERR) is a privately-held, full-service environmental contractor with its corporate office based in Whiteville, North Carolina. HERR was formed in 2002 to serve eastern North Carolina and South Carolina by providing remediation, industrial, emergency response and waste management services.” 


Acid spill, evacuation, Straus Family Creamery, Rohnert Park, California

March 18, 2022

About 250 gallons of a mixture of nitric and phosphoric acid leaked after a forklift accidentally punctured a storage tank. The solution, which is used as a cleaning agent, spilled into the front parking lot of the facility and caused the evacuations of the dairy company as well as several nearby businesses. 


One injured in a silicone fluid explosion, Northwest Cosmetic Labs, Idaho Falls, Idaho

March 17, 2022

A 26 year old employee was in critical condition after attempting to mix silicone fluid into a product line. The flammable liquid ignited, injuring the employee. The rest of the facility was evacuated. Northwest Cosmetics is owned by Elevation Labs.


Chemical spill, Huntsman Chemical, Los Angeles, California

March 17, 2022 

The release of a “large pungent plume” at the plastics fabrication facility caused officials to evacuate the building and several surrounding buildings.  According to a local report, the gas came from an “epoxy system that requires a heating process. The product’s mixing vessel overheated, which triggered the pressure relief valve, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The valve operated as designed, expelling gas into the air and creating a small cloud that authorities say rapidly dissipated.” A company spokesperson claimed that there were no environmental impacts from the event.


Oil tank explosions, XTO Energy, Madill, Oklahoma

March 16, 2022 

Five explosions set off a fire at the oil company’s storage facility. The nearest residence was reported to be half a mile away. 


Chemical combustion, evacuations, EMCO Chemical Packaging, Colombia, Missouri

March 15, 2022 

After attempts were made to clean it with alcohol 

A 55 gallon drum of divinylbenzene being cleaned at a chemical packaging company caught fire. All employees were evacuated. “At one point, the temperature of the reacting chemicals was hotter than 300 degrees,” according to a local news report. “The polymer eventually solidified, but not before expanding and emitting smoke. Once the temperature of the drum dropped below 150 degrees, the plant was turned back over to EMCO officials.”  


Crude oil spill, Marathon Pipeline, Edwardsville, Illinois

March 14, 2022 

A pipeline leak discharged 165,000 gallons of crude oil into Cahokia Creek. The spill was contained with the use of booms but local residents were unaware of the incident. "The only reason I knew this was happening was because I could smell it from my yard,” one resident was reported saying. The company sent veterinarians to the area to minimize the harm to wildlife.  


Evacuation, Desktop Metal, Burlington, Massachusetts

March 11, 2022 

Hazmat crews were called in after a chemist working at a 3D Printing company noticed the temperature of a tumbler of aluminum powder getting dangerously high. The chemist, fearing an explosion, called for an evacuation, introduced nitrogen into the tumbler and called on hazmat. “Burlington Firefighters declared a Tier 1 HAZMAT situation and requested assistance from the state Department of Fire Services HAZMAT team. The State Police Bomb Squad was also called to the scene as a precaution. Those crews remain on scene and are working to safely remove and dispose of the aluminum powder.”


Bleach leak, evacuations, Gold Creek Foods, Gainesville, Florida

March 11, 2022 

Bleach leaking from a poultry processing tank forced the evacuation of the facility. According to Hall County Fire Services spokeswoman Christie Grice, “The chemical drained from the tank into an internal contained drain inside the business,” she said. “The business was evacuated, four people were evaluated on the scene for minor injuries.” 


Explosions, fire, Welding company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

March 7, 2022

A two alarm fire at the facility, which provides welding, metal stamping and custom tooling, caused several explosions. The lone worker in the building at the time was evacuated. Hazmat crews kept firefighters outside the building due to “dangerous chemicals” inside the building. “Along with the various welding chemicals inside the building, there were also old 55-gallon drums with their chemical remnants.”  News reports did not identify the facility involved. The only welding company identified in the vicinity of the explosion and fire is Capitol Stampings. 


Fire, Lutz Roofing, Shelby, Michigan 

March 2, 2022 

A massive blaze at a roofing factory raised a hazardous air quality alert and warning for residents to stay indoors. “Several semi trailers were ablaze and dark, gray smoke could be seen for several miles while fire crews  worked to get the blaze under control. Other materials such as tires and shingles were also burning,” according to the Macomb Daily. 


Landfill overflow, Bristol, Virginia

March 1, 2022 

Hazmat crews were called in to address an overflow of water at the city’s landfill, which was caused by a pump failure. The water leaked into a tributary and samples were taken for investigation. The landfill has caused chronic problems for local residents and business owners. “There’s different smells that come from it,” Quickee Mart crew member Bradley Parris said. “Sometimes it’s a gassy-like smell, and sometimes it smells like death.” The Quickee Mart reported an increase in sales of candles and incense after this latest incident. 






February 2022

Cleaning chemicals exposure, four hospitalized, Giovanni Food Company, Lysander, NY

February 28, 2022 

Four workers were hospitalized after complaining of chest pain and headaches. Hazmat teams evacuated the building and determined the incident to have been caused by the accidental  mixing of cleaning chemicals. 

Fire and evacuation, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Sunnyside, Washington

February 28, 2022

A fire raged at the fertilizer plant, forcing residents in a half-mile radius to evacuate their homes, According to news reports: “More than 1.7 million pounds of sulfur burned—though fire officials were more concerned with the hazardous ammonium sulfate. Authorities say 236,000 pounds of the substance, which was considered the most dangerous chemical in the plant, burned early into the blaze.”

Plastic foam fire, Curve Street Metals, Alexandria, Indiana

February 27, 2022

A spark from steel cutting operations at the scrap yard set a pile of plastic foam on fire, causing the town’s mayor to declare a local emergency. Concerns about air quality were raised after clouds of smoke drifted over residences and much of the downtown. 

Fire, Full Circle Ag, Pierpont, South Dakota

February 23, 2022 

Fire broke out in what was described as an “ag chemical mixing” plant, completely destroying the building.  Officials said that the chemicals were contained and “winds were light enough to allow fumes to pass over the town and not pose a threat” to the 180 residents of Pierpont. 

Six injured in explosion and fire, Marathon Oil, Garyville, Louisiana

February 21, 2022

Six employees and contractors suffered minor injuries in a “massive” explosion and fire at the facility. After the fire was extinguished, “Air monitoring was deployed in the community, and no hazardous levels of emissions were detected.” The cause of the incident is under investigation. The Garyville facility has a refining capacity of 578,000 barrels of crude oil a day, according to the company’s website.  

Three injured in an ammonia leak, Lincoln Premium Poultry, Fremont, Nebraska

February 20, 2022

Two employees and one contractor were hospitalized after an ammonia leak occurred at a poultry plant. The cause of the leak is under investigation. Lincoln Premium supplies poultry to Costco Wholesale. 

Fire, 3M, Rockland, Massachusetts

February 17, 2022

A fire in the ductwork above a processing line caused concern. “It’s a chemical company, they mix their own adhesives…they make tape. With just the nature of that, the fire was above one of the adhesive lines,” said Rockland Fire Chief Scott Duffey.

Fire, Suite-Kote Asphalt, Cortlandville, New York

February 16, 2022 

Plastic pellets used by an asphalt company for paving caught fire. Since the pellets were near tanks loaded with highly flammable liquid asphalt, specialized units were called in to battle the blaze. "Hazmat response was generated by what they do here with the liquid asphalt, the paving products. Not sure 100% what was burning, so we had the city hazmat team, city of Cortland Hazmat Team respond, bringing in foam as well,’ said Mike Biviano, deputy chief of the Cortlandville Fire Department.”

Fire, “chemical emergency” and shelter in place, Air Liquide, Fremont, California

February 16, 2022

A fire caused concerns about the potential release of toxic chemicals into the air. Authorities issued a shelter in place warning for two nearby hotels and asked local residents to avoid the area. The fire started when a plastic vessel became over-pressurized. Precautions were taken because of the uncertainty regarding the nature of the substance. “They store unknown chemicals and transport unknown chemicals,” said Deputy Chief Zoraida. Air Liquide supplies industrial gasses to medical and other industries.

Noxious odors, BFI Waste Systems/Middle Point Landfill, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

On-going 2022

"More than 1,600 complaints about the Middle Point Landfill have poured into a Murfreesboro “odor reporting portal” since December, reported Tennessee Lookout. The reports described smells emanating from the 207-acre site as “like feces,” “a rotting, gaseous smell,” “like methane and musky shoes” and driving some residents indoors with runny eyes, scratchy throats and headaches." Despite these complaints, operators of the landfill, BFI Waste Systems, are proposing to expand the landfill, which was reported to have taken in about 680,000 tons of “secondary aluminum smelter waste” in the 1990s and early 2000. "When mixed with household trash — and moisture — the materials react, creating the potential for heat, noxious odors and chemical fires."

Fire, explosion, Foamex International polyurethane foam plant, Orange, California

February 10, 2022

 Employees loading blocks of polyurethane foam, reported to be as big as train cars, on a conveyor belt noticed smoke and tried unsuccessfully to prevent the foam from catching fire. “The company manufactures polyurethane and advanced polymer foam products, and those nearby could see, and smell, the huge pieces of foam burning,” reported NBC Los Angeles. An environmental specialist determined that there was no need for hazmat cleanup. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Plastics News advanced one theory: “The polyurethane foaming reaction is exothermic, and foam made from PU is insulating. If a foam formulation is not correctly designed, excess heat can be generated, and become trapped in the center of the large blocks of foam. This can lead to fires.” Foamex’s products are used in consumer products, bedding, healthcare, transportation and other industries. 

Chemical leak, evacuation, Contitech, Lincoln, Nebraska

February 8, 2022

A leak of “hundred of gallons” of a chemical solvent forced the evacuation of the facility. The chemical was not identified but the spill was said to be contained to a “cement house.” Contitech’s Lincoln plant produces conveyor belts and other rubber products for the agricultural, industrial, lawn and garden, and automotive industries.

Chemical spill, evacuation, Muscatine Transfer Station, Muscatine, Iowa

February 7, 2022

Two chemicals combined in a spill, and set off a reaction that was deemed hazardous, leading officials to evacuate the building. “The entire incident caused several alarms in the area to activate and emergency personnel checked each location out to make sure it was safe,” reported Our Quad Cities. The identity of the chemicals involved was not disclosed.

Oil Well explosion/fire, Chesapeake Energy, Burleson County, Texas

February 5/6, 2022

An oil well exploded forcing debris onto a local roadway, which injured the driver of a pickup truck. The nature of the debris was not disclosed. The following day a fire was reported at a second location in the same county. Both incidents are under investigation. 

Triethylamine leak, evacuation, Delta Petro Chemical, Baytown, Texas

February 4, 2022

Highly flammable triethylamine leaking from a railcar forced the evacuation of Delta Petro Chemical. It was uncertain what company owned the railcar, which was docked at the Delta Petro facility. Delta is a chemical wholesaler and distributor, according to the company website.

Power outage at multiple chemical facilities, Texas City, Texas

February 4, 2022

A massive power outage caused several area petrochemical facilities to flare off the product. “At industrial plants, flare stacks are usually used for burning off flammable gas released by safety valves during unplanned events. Flaring is also used for the planned combustion of gasses in short periods of time during startups and shutdowns,” reported KHOU-11 TV.

Fire and shelter-in-place, Alachua Feed & Seed store, Gainesville, Florida

February 3, 2022 

Residents were advised to shelter in place after a fire “engulfed” the feed store, which stocked chemicals and fertilizers. The building was severely damaged but fire crews successfully prevented the flames from damaging adjacent structures.

Refrigerant leak and evacuation, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Plainville, Massachusetts

February 2, 2022

Two hundred workers were evacuated when 2,000 pounds of liquid refrigerant spilled. Early reports suggested the leak occurred when a frozen pipeline was activated. Thermo Fisher Scientific supplies equipment, software and chemical ingredients to pharmaceutical and laboratory industries.

January 2022

Fire and evacuation, Winston Weaver Fertilizer Plant, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

January 31, 2022 

Over 6,000 people were advised to leave their homes for at least 48 hours after a rapidly spreading fire at the facility caused officials to issue evacuation orders for a one-mile radius of the plant over fears of a massive explosion. Fire crews were also called up to abandon their efforts and recede from the blaze when the fire approached a large amount of stockpiled ammonium nitrate, which is used to produce fertilizers and explosives. Winston Weaver was reported to have anywhere from 300 to 600 tons of the chemical stored at the plant. Nearby Wake Forest University closed classes for the day and opened buildings for people fleeing from the situation. Officials warned that air quality would be affected and encouraged people away from “strenuous outdoor activity”. "’At the beginning of this incident there was enough ammonium nitrate on hand for this to be one of the worst explosions in U.S. history,’ Winston-Salem fire chief William "Trey" Mayo said at a press conference”The building had no sprinklers, no alarm, and adhered to building codes from 1939. It also had no Risk Management Plan. 


“High Pressure Steam Line Failure,” Eastman Chemical plastics plant, Kingsport, Tennessee

January 31, 2022

Five people received minor injuries when a steam line failed, causing loud explosive noises, vibrations and the release of debris into the area surrounding the facility. Eastman did not identify the nature of the debris but local residents described it as “black, yellow and resembling moss” and reported “that they had initially thought the falling debris was snow.” The Kingsport plant features the country’s largest coal gasification plant for plastics.


Explosion and chlorine gas release, Occidental Chemicals Chemical Plant, Gregory, Texas

January 27, 2022 

A valve ruptured at a petrochemical and plastics plant outside Corpus Christi, Texas, leading to a release of chlorine gas that ignited and caused a “huge plume of smoke”. Shelter in place orders were issued for the employees of Occidental Chemicals (OxyChem) as well as employees of Chemours, which makes chemical agents next door. OxyChem operates three major chemical facilities on this site: a chlor-alkali plant that produces chlorine and caustic soda, an ethane cracker that makes ethylene, and a plant that combines chlorine and ethylene to make ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride monomer. OxyChem exports vinyl chloride monomer to Mexico and Colombia where it is used to make PVC plastics like pipes.


Six injured in Explosion, Westlake Chemicals, Westlake, Louisiana

January 27, 2022 

Six employees experienced minor injuries when an empty ethylene dichloride tank exploded and released a “mushroom cloud” of smoke into neighboring areas. A shelter in place for residents and local schools was issued. The cause of the incident is under investigation. Westlake uses ethylene dichloride in the manufacturing of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics. On September 28 2021 (see below) an explosion at another Westlake facility in nearby Sulphur, Louisiana which also injured six workers.  That explosion occurred during maintenance of an ethane cracker. 


Fire, Jacam Catalyst oil and gas field chemicals, Dickinson, North Dakota

January 26, 2022 

A fire at a building used for storing hazardous chemicals burned for more than 13 hours, and completely demolished the structure. There were no reports of what chemicals were stored in the building. According to Jacam’s website, the company provides chemicals for the oil and gas industry. 


Fire, EMR Recycling, Newark, New Jersey

January 25, 2022 

A massive fire at a metal recycling scrap yard at the Port of Newark sent smoke billowing across Newark Bay into Manhattan and other New York City boroughs. “Newark firefighters worked with the scrap yard's heavy equipment operators to move and spread out the metal so that it could be extinguished.” EMR exports steel scrap to India and Pakistan, according to shipping records.


Explosion/Fire, Devon Energy, Okarche, Oklahoma

January 24, 2022

Two employees were injured after an explosion and fire occurred at a Devon Energy oil well pad. The employees were reported to have been performing cleaning and maintenance when the incident occured.  A similar incident occurred at another Devon Energy pad in Oklahoma, on December 21, 2021.


Fertilizer fire, Stanislaus Farm Supply, Modesto, California

January 24, 2022 

Residents and businesses in a one-mile radius were asked to shelter in place, close windows and turn off HVAC for eight hours due to a fire which engulfed fertilizer grade sulfur.


Fire, Troy Chemical Company, Newark, New Jersey

January 22, 2022

A fire occurred at a disinfectant chemical plant in New Jersey. According to the company’s website, some of the products it manufactures include fungicides, algaecides, dispersers, defoamers, and industrial disinfectants.


Ammonia leak, Pilgrim’s Pride, Canton, Georgia

January 21, 2022 

Forty-two employees evacuated a poultry processing plant after local residents made several 911 calls reporting an ammonia smell. The ammonia leaked from a broken pipe in the plant. Three employees were taken to the hospital with “mild to severe” injuries. 


Chemical explosion, one fatality, one critical injury, W.R. Meadows, Hampshire, Illinois

January 21, 2022

An explosion in a construction chemical tank killed one employee and left another in critical condition. They were cleaning the tank. W.R. Meadows produces asphalt, sealants and concrete for construction products. Hampshire Fire Protection District Chief Trevor Herrmann said, “there were several chemicals used in the company's processing of a concrete sealant product, and vapors from the product led to the blast.” According to CBS Chicago “Part of the manufacturing facility was reduced to rubble. The building itself has had two Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations in the past, both serious. At least one shows employees getting hurt cleaning another tank.”  


Fire, Arnold’s Pest Control, Cranford, New Jersey

January 21, 2022

A chemical storage garage at a pest control company caught fire.  Officials authorized a shelter-in-place for local residents due to “hazardous conditions.” 


Explosion, 11 injuries, Husky Energy, Superior, Wisconsin

January 19, 2022

An explosion of what was reported to be either a tank of crude oil or asphalt injured 11 people and caused the evacuation of residents, schools and a hospital within a 3-mile radius of the oil refinery. Thick clouds of toxic smoke also caused the evacuation of residents and businesses in a 10-mile radius of the smoke’s pathway. Schools remained closed the following day. The refinery processes heavy crude from Canadian tar sands as well as Bakken crude from North Dakota.


Multiple explosions, Hussey Copper smelter, Leetsdale, Pennsylvania

January 16, 2022 

A malfunctioning valve on a hopper at a copper smelting facility led to a series of explosions that caused 4,000 pounds of molten copper to be flung through walls, windows and roofs. No one was injured by the copper, but the event lit several fires. “Crews were advised to remain out of the interior during the large explosions and to not expose the molten metal to water, which would cause chemical explosions that would spray molten copper. As the copper began to cool, firefighters were able to advance into the plant with dry chemical fire extinguishers to battle the interior flames and stop the explosions.”


Two leak incidents, Glycerin Traders methanol plant, Defiance, Ohio

January 14/15, 2022 

A local resident called authorities to report a “strong chemical smell” and “brown residue” in a creek close to their house. The contamination was reported to have been caused by a contract worker allowing the chemical to enter a storm sewer. The following day firefighters were called to the facility where they reported “a large amount of liquid product was flowing out of the top of one of the large storage tanks.” About 3,500 gallons of the liquid, which was not identified, were leaked, prompting a notification to the EPA. The facility has the capacity to produce “225,000 gallons of processed glycerin, 100,000 gallons of reclaimed methanol & 105,000 gallons of fatty acids per month,” according to the company.


Phenol spill, AdvenSix nylon resin factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

January 14, 2022 

Up to 2,000 gallons of phenol was spilled after a worker forgot to close a valve while loading a railcar. “It was not clear how much of the chemical, if any, ended up in the sewer, which runs to a treatment plant and, ultimately, the Delaware River.” AdvanSix uses phenol for the manufacturing of nylon resin. 


Acid spill, shelter-in-place, Asia Union Electronic Chemical Corp. (AUECC), Sparks, Nevada

January 14, 2022 

Evacuations and shelter in place orders were issued after 130 gallons of acid spilled inside a chemical warehouse. No injuries were reported. AUECC provides chemicals for the microelectronics industry, according to the company’s website. It imports chemicals such as ammonium hydroxide, hydrofluoric acid, acetic acid and sulphuric acid from China. 


Massive chemical fire, shelter-in-place, one injury, Majestic Industries and Qualco Inc. Passaic, New Jersey

January 14, 2022

“An 11-alarm fire in Passaic this weekend at a chemical plant packed with hazardous substances could have turned into one of the most catastrophic chemical disasters in the region in recent history,” reported An 11-alarm fire engulfed a furniture manufacturer Majestic Industries and pool chemical company Qualco. The conflagration forced officials to issue shelter-in-place orders for local residents. “The flames engulfed about 100,000 pounds of chlorine in one building, and an official put damages to the facilities at more than $15 million. Only a shell remained of a three-story, 300-by-400-foot brick building that had been used to store plastics, pallets and some chlorine,” according to the report. Over 200 firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to Qualco’s main chemical plant where chlorine pellets were manufactured. According to information filed with New Jersey regulators, Qualco stocks 3 million pounds of potentially hazardous substances at the Passaic facility. Some of these substances include sodium chloride, propane, calcium chloride and boric acid, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection


Fire, boil-water advisory, Air Liquide Advanced Materials specialty gas plant, Portland, Pennsylvania 

January 13, 2022

A fire at an Air Liquide gas plant originated from a leaking electrical device. According to a posting by the Hope Volunteer Fire Department, they were called upon “to keep burning equipment cool to prevent a large explosion and possible large-scale incident if other chemicals on-site were involved. The tank/pipes that area departments were cooling with two tower ladders houses and transfers Disilane (a colorless gas that is extremely flammable).  A boil water advisory was set in place for 500 local residents after the blaze, which took about 4 hours to extinguish. Air Liquide Advanced Materials produces specialty gasses and other materials for the semiconductor industry, according to Businesswire. 


Explosion Fire, Koda Resources Operating, LLC oil well, Grenora, North Dakota

January 11, 2022

An explosion and fire at an oil well, which was reported to have 1,362 barrels of crude oil onsite, was contained and no injuries were reported. The company stated that it could not determine how much of the oil was burned up until the fire was extinguished.  


Explosion, fire, 4 injuries, PMC Biogenix oleochemical factory, Memphis, Tennessee

January 11, 2022 

Four employees were injured when an explosion and fire occurred at the facility. PMG Biogenix manufactures oleochemical derivatives at the facility, according to the company website. The explosion and fire were reported to have involved a fatty acid. One person was taken to the hospital while the others were treated at the scene.


Explosion, shelter-in-place, Interplastic Corporation resin plant, Fort Wright, Kentucky

January 10, 2022 

A polyester resin plant exploded, and residents in a one-mile radius were told to shelter-in-place.  Covington City Commissioners were reported to be seeking legal action over the latest incident.  “My phone has not stopped ringing,” Commissioner Tim Downing said. “That facility is not respecting its neighbors. We need to figure out a way to do something about it.” In March 2019, local residents were also advised to shelter in place after a white cloud, described as being a “lung irritant”, was seen being emitted from the facility. Interplastic also had paid $4.75 million in a 2004 class-action settlement over pollution. “One of the terms of the settlement was that the plant would take steps to be a better neighbor,” Paul Dickman [attorney in the case] said. “Doesn’t sound like they’ve done that.” According to the company’s website, Interplastic “focuses on the production and distribution of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins, gel coats, colorants, and putties for the composites and cast polymer industries.”


Fire, Nan Ya Plastics factory, Wharton, Texas

January 9, 2022

A polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics factory was evacuated and residents were encouraged to avoid the area after a fire, which was reported to be caused by a mechanical failure, raged through the facility. No injuries were reported but it was unclear whether the facility would be operational in the near future. The Wharton facility manufactures PVC rigid films for use in consumer products such as Christmas trees, laminated flooring and film on credit cards.  Nan Ya is a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics.


Explosion, “Chemical Structure Fire”, Hatch and Kirk Warehouse, Godfrey, Illinois

January 7, 2022

Multiple barrels of solvents caught fire” as a massive fire quickly spread through and destroyed a warehouse. The facility, which is located a quarter-mile north of Alton High School, housed inventory for the rail, marine, industrial, power generation, and offshore drilling industries, according to the company website.


Explosion, CSX Coal Terminal, South Baltimore, Maryland

January 3, 2022 

A “thunderous” explosion from a coal rail terminal “had residents diving for the floor,” according to a news report. “The explosion emitted huge clouds of black smoke containing soot and other particulates. Officials stated that the cause of the event was a propane tank explosion at the coal silo, which stores coal mostly from West Virginia to ships exporting it to other countries. Residents have long complained about the CSX facility, fearing long-term effects from exposure to the sooty particulates. “Asked if the explosion emitted dangerous fumes or particulates into the neighborhood, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) indicated that the state was leaving it to the railroad to monitor the situation.”

December 2021

Fire, Farm Chemicals fertilizer factory, Raeford, North Carolina

December 31, 2021

Part of a fertilizer factory was destroyed and local roads were closed to traffic as “the plant was reported to have some areas containing materials that could be hazardous when burned,” the news reported.  According to the facility’s Risk Management Plan, it stores ammonia in the manufacturing of fertilizer. “FCI receives, stores, uses, and ships Aqua Ammonia,” reads the RMP.  Its “primary role is a fertilizer, blending and distributing facility. The facility has one 20,000 gallon storage tank. The facility receives inbound Aqua Ammonia by tanker truck. The tank system is used for storage of the material until it is sold for use to a customer or used in fertilizer blending.”


Fire, Georgia Pacific engineered wood products plant, Taylorsville, Mississippi

December 31, 2021

A small fire in a reactor tank was quickly brought under control. The reactor was described as a “tank about the size of a mid-sized vehicle where chemicals are mixed for use in various resins and other woodworking products.” Georgia Pacific’s Taylorsville plant provides plywood, wood chips and lumber processing. 


Freon leak, Costco store, Hazlet, New Jersey

December 29, 2021

Twenty employees were reported as being sickened after a leak of freon occurred in the refrigerator section of the wholesale store. The leak was reported before the store opened and hazmat crews and employees worked to ventilate the store. However, several hours later employees began complaining of headaches and nausea. Hazmat units evacuated and closed down the store.


Explosion, fire, four injuries, ExxonMobil Baytown, Texas

December 23, 2021

Four people were injured in what was described by county officials as a “major industrial accident” at the ExxonMobil facility, which contains an oil refinery and an olefins plant. It was reported that the fire was in the olefins unit while the explosion occurred in an area that “processed material with gasoline components”. The 3,400 acre facility is the fourth largest refinery in the US. “The company said its industrial hygiene team was monitoring air quality at the site and fence line, and that "available information shows no adverse impact at this time."

No evacuations or shelter in place orders were issued, but the county sheriff’s department urged people to avoid the area.  It was later reported that the incident released naphtha, which is a product of gasoline distillation.  In 2019, 37 people were injured in a major fire at the facility in the unit that processes propylene.


Solvent leak, Devon Energy, Calumet, Oklahoma

December 21, 2021

An unidentified solvent was reported to be leaking from a tank owned by Devon Energy. A nearby resident reported the leak stating that a liquid overflowed a retaining wall and leaked out close to a street. Oklahoma News 4 reported: “The fluid was running all the way down about, oh, 300 feet down into [Highway] 66 and was flowing good,” said Scott Beard, a resident who lives nearby.” Beard and other residents expressed concern over the fate of the spill. ““It’s going to kill the grass, and if it kills the grass, it’s going to kill animals and other things,” said Beard, who grows wheat and raises cattle on his property. “Extracting oil and gas from shale formations using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology has become a controversial public issue,” reported the Investor Environmental Health Network in 2018. “Leaks, spills, explosions and community impacts have led to bans and moratoria in multiple regions in the U.S., including New York State, and around the globe, putting the industry's social license to operate at risk.  Devon Energy has been a laggard in the oil and gas industry in its disclosure practices.”


Fire, Pennway Corp., Croydon, Pennsylvania

December 21, 2021

Powder ignited inside an industrial dryer machine that was described as being the size of a room. The fire was put out without any injuries reported. Pennway’s website states that the company is involved in industrial finishing such as powder coating, liquid paint, and chromate conversion. 


Gas pipeline leak, shelter-in-place, ChevronPhillips Chemical, Port Arthur, Texas

December 16, 2021

A leak in a gas pipeline forced students and residents within one-mile to shelter-in-place. Local highways were also closed. Chevron Phillips described the leak as “a small product release from a raw pyrolysis gasoline pipeline undergoing maintenance.”  Greater than threshold quantities of regulated flammable mixtures at the plant include methane, hydrogen, ethylene, ethane, propylene, propane, butenes, butanes, 1,3-butadiene, pentenes, and pentanes.


Oil Well Fire, Terra Energy Partners, New Castle, Colorado

December 9, 2021

A passerby on I-70 reported an oil well fire to authorities. “The fire involved a tank holding condensate, which consists of hydrocarbon liquids produced along with natural gas.” No injuries were reported and the fire was quickly controlled.


Fire, Schnitzer Northeast Recycling, Everett, Massachusetts

December 8, 2021

Hazmat teams were called in to address a fire in a building used to shred whole cars. The blaze sent a huge gray cloud of smoke over the suburban area near Boston. Although it was reported that “Environmental officials worked under the assumption that the fire involved plastics produced in the shredding process” it was also reported that air samples that were collected showed “no detections of contaminants at any levels of concern." Schnitzer operates over 100 recycling facilities throughout the US and Canada. 


Chlorine leak injures five, T & T Recycling, Hurst Illinois

December 6, 2021

Five people were hospitalized in serious condition when a tank they were cutting for scrap, which they assumed to be empty, exploded and released chlorine gas. The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. 


Chemical fire, leak, relocations, Virgin Scent Incorporated dba ArtNaturals and Day to Day Imports Incorporated warehouse, Carson California 

September 30, 2021 to December 2021 (ongoing)

A fire on September 30, 2021 at a warehouse storing beauty supplies and wellness products lead to the ongoing leakage of hazardous chemicals into the Dominguez Channel, for months,. The leak caused a nauseating stench that forced thousands of local residents to be relocated. 

“Following the fire, chemicals from the stored products, including ethanol, passed through the city's sewer system and into the Dominguez Channel, causing elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide to be emitted into the air, the investigation found. At one point, the hydrogen sulfide levels in the local waterway were about 230 times higher than California's nuisance standard,” according to a news report.  The warehouse is owned by Liberty Properties Ltd, whose parent company is Prologis. In December 2021, the South Coast Air Quality Management District issued notices of violations.


Hydrochloric acid cloud, shelter-in-place, MPW Industrial Services cleaning company, Sedalia, Missouri

December 3, 2021

A leak of hydrochloric acid from a tank force forced local residents and businesses to shelter in place. According to its website, the company provides “industrial cleaning, water treatment, facility management, environmental management and container management services.”


Seven workers overcome by cleaning fumes, Dean Foods, Harvard, Illinois

December 1, 2021

Seven workers were transported to a hospital after reporting respiratory distress. It was reported that a worker had mixed cleaning chemicals causing a hazardous situation. Dean Foods processes dairy products, such as milk, cottage cheese and ice cream.

November 2021

Explosion/Fire, Cleveland Cliffs Steel Mills, Burnt Harbor, Indiana

November 30, 2021 

A “massive” explosion at a slag pit at a steel mill caused shook local homes and shops. “The local fire crew plus others from nearby jurisdictions, as well as the plant, raced out to the slag pit. It took about two hours to extinguish numerous fires that flared in the 90,000 square foot space. Silica in the slag contacting moisture resulted in a chemical reaction and explosion,” according to a local report.


Fire, The WestRock Paper and Packaging Company cardboard plant, Columbus, Indiana

November 30, 2021 

A fire started in three machines used to collect and chip cardboard. The machines were damaged but no injuries were reported. 


Fusion Worldwide electronics warehouse incident, two injuries, Haverhill, Massachusetts

November 30, 2021 

A container of hazardous cleaning chemicals broke, causing eye and burn injuries. The building was evacuated while the hazardous material was contained. Fusion Worldwide is a global distributor of electronics supplies.

Drinking water contamination and relocations, Naval Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu, Hawaii

November 28, 2021 

Hundreds of military families complained of contaminated water at their residences resulting in the Hawaii Department of Health advising residents and local schools to avoid the tap water. Residents had “found the tap water had an oily sheen and smelled like fuel on Nov. 28.”  The Navy initially denied that there was any fuel t in the water but eventually confirmed the presence of petroleum products. “The military provided resources for families while investigating the claims and testing water, but the Blue Star Families organization is working to help the families relocate via donations and making use of contacts on the ground in Hawaii.” On December 8th, it was reported that “the Navy said it said it would stop operations at fuel storage tanks above a Hawaii aquifer until it had completed an investigation into how petroleum got into the drinking water.” The Navy had reported 920 parts per billion (ppb) of petroleum in the water; the limit is 400 ppb. 


Fire, Repcon Inc. construction services, Corpus Christi, Texas

November 27, 2021 

A fire at the plant, which was vacant at the time, caused damage to a building and maintenance shop before it was extinguished. The cause of the blaze was under investigation. A transformer was seen giving off sparks shortly before the fire was reported. According to its website, Repcon provides “maintenance and construction services to the refining, chemical, and petrochemical industries.”


Ammonia leak, Desert Gold Food Company, Las Vegas

November 27, 2021 

Several streets around the facility in downtown Las Vegas were shut down while a hazmat crew spent three hours containing an ammonia leak. The plant was closed at the time of the incident.


Fire, North Augusta’s Material Recovery Facility, North Augusta, South Carolina

November 25, 2021 

A fire at the facility burned for more than 24 hours before being contained.  As a result of the fire, materials picked up for recycling are instead being diverted to the Three Rivers Landfill for disposal. "In the interim, we don't have another alternative, so we will be commingling recyclables with garbage for disposal with the Three Rivers Landfill," said Aiken City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh. 


Explosion and Fire, Toledo Refinery, Oregon, Ohio

November 23, 2021 

An explosion followed by a large fire at the refinery forced officials to close local roads although no evacuations were issued. Residents reported hearing a large explosion which was followed by a fire at the gasoline processing unit. There were no reported injuries. 


Two injuries, ammonia leak, Paulo thermal processing plant, St. Louis, Missouri

November 23, 2021 

Two firefighters and another individual were burned by ammonia vapors from a leaking valve that they were attempting to shut down. The individuals sustained minor injuries and local businesses were evacuated until the ammonia dissipated. Paulo is a heat treating and metal finishing company. 


Fire, “commercial building”, Houston Texas

November 22, 2021 

A three alarm fire at a Houston warehouse may have involved stored solvents, according to

Assistant Chief Ruy Lozano.  The warehouse is in a residential neighborhood, which was placed in precautionary shelter-in-place. 


Chemical Fire, CHS Agricultural Center, Pocahontas, Illinois

November 21, 2021 

“Sulfur-containing” chemicals being stored in a concrete bin caught fire at a farmer owned cooperative. The incident closed Illinois Route 140 for several hours. The fire was contained to the bin and no injuries were reported. 


Chlorine leak, Winchester Water Plant, Winchester, Tennessee

November 21, 2021 

Hazmat crews contained chlorine that was leaking from a gas cylinder. No injuries were reported and no chlorine was released outside the building.


Chemical release, Zeon Chemical Plant, Louisville, Kentucky

November 19, 2021 

About 10 pounds of 1,3-Butadiene were emitted from a chemical plant during a 3 minute long incident. Hazmat crews were alerted, but local residents were determined not to be in danger. The same facility was responsible for a 2017 release of 701 pounds of 1.3-Butadiene and fined $2,000.. One resident of Rubbertown, Glen James, told reporters, “It’s really scary, because you never ever really know what they’re actually doing around there. “The smell is so bad. As for other things, I am worried about the groundwater.” Zeon manufactures heat-resistant and oil-resistant elastomers for the automotive and other industries.


One fatality, flash fire, Composite Modules, Attleboro, MA

November 15, 2021 

A worker using toluene to clean equipment was severely burned and later died from his injuries. Toluene is highly flammable and volatile, but it is used often in the chemical industry as a cleaning agent for adhesives and paints. 


Drum leak, Newell Rubbermaid, Maryville, Tennessee

November 12, 2021 

A leaking drum at the property caused local evacuations, including that of a nearby High School and Elementary school. The chemical released was not identified. The incident was resolved within a few hours. 


One fatality, “Flash explosion,” X-Fab, North Lubbock, Texas

November 12, 2021 

A “flash explosion” killed a worker at a silicon wafer factory. Details about the cause were not reported. X-Fab manufactures silicon wafers for  automotive, industrial, consumer, medical industries according to its website.


Junkyard Fire, Delaware Valley Recycling, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

November 10, 2021 

A junkyard fire required the work of more than 100 firefighters to get under control. “At least six piles of tires and construction materials — some estimated to be six stories high — caught fire, said Philadelphia Fire Department Capt. Derek Bowmer,” reported the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Questions remain on how the fire started, the company involved, and the health impacts associated with the burned materials.”


Fire, Cenovus Refinery, Lima, Ohio

November 4, 2021 

A fire in a unit at the 185,000 barrel a day refinery injured four workers.  Cenovus did not reveal the cause of the fire. “The refinery is in the middle of a multi-unit turnaround, during which Cenovus employed non-union contractors, according to the local building trades union,” Reuters reported.

October 2021

Fire, abandoned warehouse, Jennings, Missouri

October 28, 2021 

A fire at an abandoned warehouse, which once was a bowling ball factory and also stored chemicals for Kodak, raged for hours. It was reported that the city of Jennings had taken control of the warehouse in 2018 and were aware of chemicals being stored in the building, but never took an inventory.  The chemical blaze caused a local shopping mall to be evacuated, schools to be alerted to keep children indoors and nearby residents to be advised to shelter-in-place.

 Fire, Eastern Metal Recycling, Coeymans, New York

October 27, 2021 

A fire from a scrap heap adjacent to the Hudson River sent “chemical smelling” smoke into the surrounding area drawing criticisms from emergency responders and local citizens. The scrap yard addresses used cars, appliances and other scrap metal and it is believed that a spark from a battery in one of the cars ignited the flames, which were burning for hours. 

Fire, Westlake Compounds, Gallman, Mississippi

October 22, 2021 

A fire at a tower at the plastics compounding forced the plant to be evacuated and nearby roads were closed to traffic. Firefighters from six local units got the blaze contained and under control. The tower was storing mineral oil. 

One fatality, Honeywell Geismar, Carville, Louisiana

October 21, 2021 

“Jason DeRousselle, 51, died at Baton Rouge General Hospital after his exposure on Oct. 21 to hydrofluoric acid at the Honeywell Geismar complex in Carville,” reported the Baton Rouge Advocate.  The Honeywell plant produces fluorochemicals used in plastics and air conditioning.

Toluene diisocyanate exposure, BASF, Geismar, Louisiana

October 21, 2021 

Less than a week after a worker died from exposure to nitrogen gas at BASF in Geismar, another worker was hospitalized after being exposed to toluene diisocyanate (TDI) at the same facility.  TDI is used in polyurethane plastics.

Fire and Chemical Spill, Hiwassee Machine and Fabrication, Dayton, Tennessee

October 20, 2021 

A fire at the facility, which processes chlorine tablets, caused hazmat crews and local hospitals to go on alert. Some local businesses and a nearby rail station were evacuated. 

Noxious fumes, Mountaire Farms, Robeson County, North Carolina

October 19, 2021 

Workers have quit over an odor permeating the poultry plants, which is described as “a sharp, suffocating kind of odor” with one worker saying it felt like it “invaded your brain.” Workers say that the company refuses to identify the chemical involved, which was introduced in the facility about 4 months prior. 

One fatality, BASF, Geismar, Louisiana

October 15, 2021 

“Dexter Armstead, 48, died at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center one day after the suspected nitrogen exposure on Oct. 15 at BASF's Geismar complex off La. 30,” reported the Baton Rouge Advocate.   A second employee who was also exposed to the chemical was released from the hospital after an evaluation.  The Geismar plant produces industrial chemicals including chlorobenzene, ethylene and formaldehyde.

Ammonia leak, Smithfield Food, St. James, Minnesota

October 11, 2021 

Hazmat teams responded to a leak of anhydrous ammonia and some residents voluntarily evacuated their homes. 

Chemical spill, Roller Die and Forming, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia

October 11, 2021

The spill of “an ammonia based chemical” sent one employee to the hospital for chemical exposure.  The facility produces fabricated metal parts.

Chemical explosion, Pentagon Technologies Group, Portland, Oregon

October 8, 2021 

One person was injured after a chemical reaction caused a drum to explode. The incident is under investigation. Pentagon Technologies Group provides clean room supplies used in the manufacturing of semiconductor equipment. 

Oil spill, Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery, Texas City, Texas

October 6, 2021 

A pump seal failed causing an unreported amount of oil to leak. The leak was contained at the facility. Air monitoring was deployed for the area. Although the company did not disclose the amount of oil that had leaked, video from a SkyEye reportedly “showed a large amount of fluid spewing from a large tank at the site.”

Cyclohexane Inhalation incident, Ascend Performance Materials, Cantonment, Florida

October 5, 2021 

Two employees were transported to the hospital after accidentally inhaling cyclohexane. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), inhalation of cyclohexane can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation, drowsiness, narcosis and coma. 

Hazardous liquid leak, Old Dominion Freight, Central Point, Oregon

October 4, 2021 

Hazmat teams were called in and the building was evacuated after employees witnessed an unknown liquid leaking from one of the company’s freight trucks. “Inside the trucks, there is a bunch of different chemicals in there, and until we can identify what it is, we have to be really cautious about how we approach it,” Jason John, a battalion chief with the local fire department was reported saying. 

Antifreeze leak, Taconic Biosciences, Catskill, New York

October 1, 2021 

The building was evacuated after reports of a chemical odor in the building which left several employees feeling ill. Firefighters traced the odor to antifreeze leaking from a boiler. The building was ventilated and reopened.

September 2021

One fatality, JBS Foods, Greeley, Colorado

September 29, 2021

JBS, the world’s world's largest meat supplier, was facing fines of $59,000 for a March 2021 incident in which a worker who was trying to install equipment fell to his death into a vat of chemicals used to process animal hides. OSHA determined that JBS and its affiliate Swift Beef were responsible for eight safety violations including failure to secure equipment. According to the Greely Tribute: “JBS last month was cited several times and fined $175,000 in relation to incidents where a worker’s arm had to be amputated, a second who was lacerated while removing hides and a third exposed to a thermal burn hazard.”


Chemical leak, Shearer’s Foods, Hermiston, Oregon

September 27, 2021 

Three employees were hospitalized after a chemical leak at the food processing facility. The chemical’s identity was not reported.


Wastewater discharge, Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant, Essex, Maryland

September 27, 2021 

A 5,000 gallon tank sprung a leak spilling 2,500 gallons of sodium bisulfite into a holding tank at the site. Some employees were evacuated or quarantined before hazmat crews got the leak under control. Sodium bisulfite is used to remove chlorine from wastewater. Exposure can cause irritations to skin, eyes and lungs. 


Discharge, US Steel Midwest Plant, Indiana 

September 27, 2021

A “rusty colored” water discharge from a steel plant caused beaches at the Indiana Dunes National Park to be closed. The plant was also closed as a precaution. "An investigation is underway to determine the nature and extent of the discharge," a company spokesman told reporters. The latest incident comes weeks after the company agreed to pay $1 million for a 300 pound leak of hexavalent chromium into a local waterway. “Since then, the plant has had at least seven other water violations.’


Six Injured in Explosion, Westlake Chemical, Sulphur, Louisiana

September 28, 2021

An explosion, which occurred during maintenance of a petrochemical cracker near Lake Charles.  Six contract workers were injured. The unit of plant where the explosion occurred produces ethylene for the plastics industry. Cause of the incident was under investigation.


Anhydrous ammonia leak, Arkansas Gravel Company, Hampton, Arkansas

September 25, 2021

Digging equipment ruptured a pipeline containing ammonia and caused the evacuation of 180 residents who live downwind of the quarry. 


Fire, Vantage Chemicals, Gurnee, Illinois

September 19, 2021

One employee was injured trying to extinguish the fire which reportedly started in the exhaust stacks of an oil boiler.. Vantage’s Gurnee plant produces silicone release & wetting agents, surfactants, emulsifiers, lubricants, rust inhibitors & organic fermentation defoamers.  It uses the carcinogen, ethylene oxide, in this production and was subject of a 2021 investigation by The Intercept’s Sharon Lerner.


Hydrochloric acid leak, Venator Mineral Research, Freeport, Texas

September 16, 2021

A leak of hydrochloric acid in a pigment processing plant’s rail yard resulted in a shelter in place for residents in parts of Freeport and all of Quintana. "’We were alerted that a rail car at the Mineral Research facility had some type of spill, some type of acid,’ Freeport Mayor Brooks Bass said. "It was a spill, and in our mind, it was significant.” The cause of the leak is under investigation. Venator spun off from Huntsman Corporation in 2020.


Two fatalities, Fayetteville Valley Proteins, Fayetteville, North Carolina

September 13, 2021

An animal waste processing plant was evacuated and hazmat teams were called in after two employees were found unresponsive. The two later died. Valley Proteins “provides services for the collection, rendering and recycling of animal processing and supermarket waste streams (fat and bone trimmings; meat/poultry waste) and restaurant used cooking oil,” according to a local report. The company had been under investigations for potential OSHA violations. The state labor department is investigating the latest incident. 


Fire, JBS USA meat packing plant, Grand Island, Nebraska

September 13, 2021

A five-alarm fire at the rendering unit of the beef production company raged for more than 12 hours before being extinguished. The meat packing plant has the capacity to render 1.2 million head of cattle per year. It was the site of a Covid-19 outbreak - 237 people fell ill - in April 2020.


Ammonia leak, Tyson Foods, Goodlettsville, Tennessee

September 5, 2021

A “large ammonia leak” led to a shelter-in-place advisory for residents near the plant while officials evacuated the building. A nearby RV Resort Campground also was evacuated.  and portions of Interstate 65, Highway 41 and the CSX rail yard next to the plant were shut down. 

This poultry plant was the site of a Covid-19 outbreak - 345 people fell ill - in May 2020.


Ammonia leak, Solario and Sons, Bakersfield, California

September 3, 2021

A fire at the cold storage facility resulted in a chemical leak that forced the evacuation of about 15 local residents, most of whom were children.


Molten Steel Spill, Steel of West Virginia, Huntington, West Virginia 

September 1, 2021

A fire at the facility caused several buildings to be compromised. “Hot molten steel had somehow gotten out of the container” injuring one employee, according to the Huntington Herald Dispatch. Firefighters were called in to cool the area so the “steel was no longer a threat”. The cause of the fire was not reported.

August 2021

Unknown chemical combination causes shelter-in-place order, IDC Warehouse, Pasadena, Texas

August 31, 2021

Workers at nearby industrial sites were ordered to shelter-in-place after a chemical incident at a warehouse.  According to news reports an oil based cleaner was accidentally mixed with some unknown chemicals at the warehouse causing a reaction. According to the import/export database Datamyne, IDC Pasadena accepts imports from chemical companies such as Albemarle Catalysts, Gadiv Petrochemical, and SI Group Fine Petrochemicals.

Chemical fire, DeWitt Products Co., Detroit, Michigan 

August 30, 2021

DeWitt “makes material that waterproofs roofs and driveways. Chemicals used in that process provided fuel for the flames, officials with the Detroit Fire Department said,” according to a local report. The blaze burned the building down. 


Petrochemical releases related to Hurricane Ida, southeast Louisiana

August 29 to September 12, 2021

At least six petrochemical facilities in southeast Louisiana reported chemical incidents during and after Hurricane Ida.  The U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center lists reports from: CF Industries, Donaldsonville;  Cornerstone Chemical, Waggaman; ExxonMobil, Baton Rouge; Mosaic Fertilizer, St. James; Shell, Norco; and, Shintech, Plaquemine. Shell’s releases continued at least through September 12, 2021. Further details are available in a Coming Clean special report, Unprepared for Disaster: Chemical Hazards in the Wake of Hurricane Ida.  

Gasoline spill, Ford Motor Company, Flat Rock, Michigan

August 25 to September 23, 2021

“The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) says between 1,000 and 3,000 gallons of unleaded fuel from the Ford plant entered the city sewer this week, creating hazardous vapors that resulted in evacuation of 10 homes and a school, the River Heights Academy.” The hazardous vapors were reported to contain high levels of benzene.  As of September 6, 2021: "Authorities said it could take weeks for response teams to determine how widespread the exposure is and when it will be safe for residents to return home." Ford has started "a million dollar reimbursement fund for evacuated and displaced families." On September 7, Flat Rock announced it was cancelling its Riverfest, which was to be held September 10-11 because of the incident. Ford eventually decided to stop production at its Mustang plant, the site of the fuel leak. After three weeks, residents were cleared to return to their homes.

Hydrochloric Acid leak, Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition, Eddyville, Iowa

Aug. 25, 2021

Residents were asked to shelter in place and local schools experienced 2-hour delayed openings after 8,520 gallons of hydrochloric acid leaked from a storage tank. The leak was directed to a containment area and pumped out. The facility makes feed grain for farm animals. 


Chemical leak, Produce Connection Warehouse, Wakefield, Massachusetts

Aug. 23, 2021

Three workers were taken to the hospital and a food warehouse was evacuated after a cleaning solution leaked from a machine used to clean organic fruits and vegetables. 


Fire, Washington Cold Storage Puyallup Washington

Aug. 22, 2021

Residents were evacuated within a mile of the facility after it was revealed that the cold storage plant contained 1,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia. Reverse 911 calls were aided by police and residents going door to door to alert people. However, residents were concerned about the lack of a uniform alert system


Ammonia leak, Performance Foodservice Henrico, Virginia

August 19, 2021

A foodservice company was evacuated for four hours while hazmat teams ventilated ammonia from the building. 

“Unknown Acid” spill, Tradebe Recycling, Meriden, Connecticut

August 16, 2021

Several drums leaked what was believed to be a combination of hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and chromium, leading to the closure of local roads and the suggestion to shelter-in-place or evacuate. The leaked acid caused severe damage to the floor of a trailer truck . Sixteen damaged drums had to be removed and “several thousand gallons” of water was reported to be contaminated and needed to be addressed by a pump truck. 

Mercaptan leak, Lubrizol, La Porte, Texas.

August 16, 2021

County officials issued a shelter-in-place warning and suggested use of face masks after a chemical leak at the facility led local residents to complain of headaches, nausea and sore throats.


Fire, Behr Iron & Metal Recycling Center, South Beloit, Wisconsin

August 15, 2021

According to a local report, “Firefighters say a chemical reaction from by-products of the shredding of vehicles the center receives started the fire. Crews used a thousand gallons of water to contain the flames. No damage was reportedly caused to the building.”


Sulphur dioxide release, Chevron Refinery, Richmond, California

August 11, 2021

An unplanned release at the refinery emitted an unknown amount of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere and warranted a warning for the surrounding community. According to KALW Public Media, “In 2012, billowing smoke associated with flares from a refinery fire forced thousands of people to seek medical treatment and led to a protracted legal fight with the city. Three years ago, the City of Richmond agreed to a $5 million settlement in the case.”

One fatality, chemical exposure, Daikin America, Decatur, Alabama

August 10, 2021

Wesley Rusk, a 20-year veteran of the company, died a little more than a month after a chemical exposure at the Decatur facility. Although Daikin did not reveal the chemical involved in the incident or whether other workers were affected, Rusk’s widow reported, “Per the doctors report, based off the chemical sheet Daikin sent to Vandy [Vanderbilt Medical Center], and all the research they have done on those chemicals after looking at his CT scans, they determined it to be sulfur dioxide.” Daikin manufactures fluoropolymer coatings for use in food and textiles. Daikin was also reported to be under an investigation by OSHA for an incident in 2019 in which another employee died after allegedly being exposed to a chemical. 

Chemical reaction, JM Smucker Company, Lexington, Kentucky 

August 9, 2021

Two unnamed chemicals were accidentally mixed at the facility manufacturing the company’s Jif peanut butter causing the plant to be evacuated and local roadways shut down. No injuries were reported. Powder Bulk and Solids has recorded additional incidents over the years. It reports, “in June 2020 that a small blaze broke out in equipment and ductwork in J.M. Smucker’s Jif plant in Lexington. Several other fires have ignited in the facility in recent years. Two peanut roasting machines were damaged in a fire in January 2014. The plant’s sprinkler system doused a blaze that broke out in November 2012. A small silo explosion occurred at the site in early 2007.”

Dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) spill, Texmark, Galena, Texas

August 5, 2021

The company reported that about 100 gallons of DCPD were spilled, some of which entered into the local Panther Creek, but posed no threats to the public. DCPD is a respiratory irritant and is used to manufacture paints and varnishes. It is also used as an “intermediate in insecticides and as a flame retardant in plastics.”


Fire, Oklahoma Tire Recycling, Bristow, Oklahoma

August 1, 2021

Vulnerable people were advised to stay indoors while a fire at the tire recycling facility was allowed to burn itself. "When a tire fire occurs, the tires break down into compounds that are hazardous to human health and the environment, generally including: caustic gases, heavy metals and various hydrocarbons associated with the oil and other chemical feedstock used to produce the tires," said the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.”


Fire, National Salvage and Services Corp., Selma, Alabama

August 1 to 13, 2021

A lightning strike was believed to have set off a “huge” fire at the facility, which recycles railroad ties. “The company yard at Burnsville typically holds “thousands upon thousands” of chemically treated railroad ties that are ground up and used for fuel, primarily in industrial boilers.” The ties contain creosote, as well as other chemical preservatives that are considered health risks. The blaze smoldered for weeks.

July 2021

Explosion, Valley Milk Products, Strasburg, VA

July 30, 2021

Hazardous materials crews were called in and local streets were blocked after a boiler explosion blew out a wall at the factory, releasing a strong smell of ammonia. 

Hazmat situation, Waste Management Recycling, Sun Valley, CA

July 29, 2021

A hazmat team evacuated 39 employees over concerns of a potential exposure to an unnamed chemical. No further information available as of August 6, 2021. 

Oil well fire, Petro-Hunt oil pad, Bismarck, North Dakota

July 23 - Aug. 7, 2021

Two ruptured wells in an oil pad burned for 16 days before being extinguished. A third oil well in the same pad was extinguished after 12 days. The well pad is owned by Petro-Hunt. The cause of the fire was under investigation.


Fire, Nature’s Best Ag Service, Albany Minnesota

July 22, 2021

A fertilizer distribution center caught fire in the early morning. The building was successfully evacuated and the fire put out, with no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Liquid Nitrogen Explosion at Dippin’ Dots, Paducah, Kentucky

July 22, 2021

Ten employees were hospitalized after an explosion of liquid nitrogen. The facility makes the ingredients for Dippin’ Dots. The explosion remains under investigation.

Hydroxyethyl acrylate leak, Dow Chemical, La Porte, Texas

July 21, 2021

The release of the chemical, which is used in coatings and adhesives, forced the evacuation of  businesses, homes and a school within a half mile radius of the facility as well as a shelter-in-place order for outside the evacuated area. Hydroxyethyl acrylate can cause eye and nose irritations. Officials also worried about the threat of a potential explosion

Fire, Premium PPE, Amherst, NY 

July 20, 2021

Multiple fire companies were called in to fight the blaze which broke out at a facility that manufactures masks and other personal protective gear. Concern over industrial chemicals in the building caused a recommendation that local businesses, residences and roadways be evacuated. 

Chemical fire, Olin Epoxy, Roberta, Georgia

July 15, 2021

A shelter-in-place order was issued after a structural fire at the facility spread to a tank of epoxy resin, fueling the fire further and releasing toxic smoke. "An incorrect reaction is taking place in the tank, causing it to heat up, and then we have the release again, and we're waiting for everything to cool back down," said Rick Sharon, an emergency management official.

Fire, Coopers Creek Chemical Corp. Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

July 14, 2021 

An early morning fire broke out at the facility, which refines crude coal tar to make asphalt. “Officials said a small fire started in a boiler room, then spread to a large tank holding coal tar or creosote,” according to a local report.

Ammonia leak, Duluth Curling Club, Duluth, Minnesota 

July 13, 2021

A leak of anhydrous ammonia from a curling club’s refrigeration unit forced the closure and evacuation of the club as well as local venues such as the Marcus Duluth Cinemas and Pioneer Hall, in addition to local road closures. 

Anhydrous ammonia leak, Diamond Ice, Southington, Connecticut

July 11, 2021

A shelter-in-place order was put out for the area after residents called 911 complaining about a strong noxious odor coming from an ice factory.  Firefighters used thermal imaging cameras to locate the plume and contain it. 

Fire, Summit Lubricants, Batavia, NY

July 10, 2021

According to a news source, “Large barrels spilled and heated up which led to an explosion and fire at the plant.” The building was reported to be empty at the time

Fire, Renosol Corporation, Portsmouth Township, Michigan

July 9, 2021

A large fire at a plastics molding facility released smoke and odors that caused local homes to be evacuated. Renosol molds polyurethane, which when set on fire can release toxic gases. Local residents were told the smoke was not toxic and were allowed to return to their homes. 

Hazardous fumes, Coventa Metals, Morrisville, Pennsylvania

July 7, 2021

Hazmat crews were called in after workers at the recycling facility sprayed a cloud of aluminum dross, a hazardous waste product of aluminum processing, with water causing hazardous fumes. 

1,4 -Dioxane contaminated drinking water, Pittsboro, North Carolina

July 7, 2021

The City of Greensboro’s TZ Osborne Wastewater Treatment Plant released 20 times the EPA recommendations of 1,4-dioxane into a tributary of the Haw River, forcing the city of Pittsboro to shut down water intake. The event, which violated a Special Order by Consent (SOC). The source of the 1,4-dioxane is under investigation.“That Greensboro or whoever’s responsible for it there didn’t notify the general public down here is just appalling,” Sally Bassett, a Pittsboro resident, told the News + Record. “It’s just alarming to me that they’re getting away with this.” In 2019 it had been discovered that Shamrock Environmental, a waste management company, had been dumping excessive amounts of 1,4-Dioxane into the Haw River prompting the implementation of the SOC.  

Ammonia leak, Crystal Geyser Water, East Bakersfield, California

July 6, 2021

An ammonia leak forced evacuation of a water bottling facility and several surrounding apartment buildings. Workers isolated the leak and contained it.  

Ammonia leak, State Heat Treating Company, Wyoming, Michigan

July 6, 2021

An estimated 300 to 500 gallons of vaporized ammonia leaked and prompted a shelter-in-place for local residents. Hazmat crews contained the leak at the facility, which chemically treats metals used by the medical, military and automotive industries.

June 2021

Fire, Faurecia Interior Systems, Saline, Michigan

June 29, 2021

An electrical transformer on the roof of the plant, which manufactures plastic automotive door panels and dashboards, malfunctioned causing a fire that was contained in an equipment room. Faurecia is one of the world’s largest automotive parts suppliers.

Two fatalities in a gas line explosion, Atmos Energy, Farmersville, TX

June 29, 2021

Two contract workers were killed and two others were hospitalized when a natural gas line exploded. Skylah Spradlin, whose home borders the field where the pipeline exploded said, “I'm just very thankful that it didn't explode my whole neighborhood because that's always been one of my fears."

Fire, Westlake Chemical, Sulphur, Louisiana

June 25, 2021

Lube oil from a compressor caught fire in the company’s Petro 1 Unit, causing the release of heavy black smoke. According to the company there were no injuries and no chemical releases. “This should be in the clear, you are probably gonna see flares; but those people shouldn’t feel alarmed, you see those all the time,” Dick Gremillion, head of Calcasieu Parish’s Emergency Preparedness was reported as saying.

Gas leak, Daylight Petroleum, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

June 24, 2021

Firefighters contained a gas leak following a wellhead failure. Three homes were evacuated and a roadway was closed to traffic.

Fire, CRC Chrome Meridian, Connecticut

June 21, 2021

Two employees of a chrome plating plant were hospitalized with burns after lacquer they had introduced to a heating tank caused a reaction sending the material to overflow the tank and set the roof on fire. “Fire officials said there are numerous chemicals located inside the building. This is why crews are being cautious about the use of water while fighting the fire,” according to a local report.

Explosion, four-alarm fire, Chemtool, Rockton, Illinois

June 14, 2021

A massive explosion and fire at the Chemtool plant, which produces grease and lubricating oils, caused over 1,500 nearby residents to be evacuated.  A firefighter was injured but not seriously. “Officials say it’s possible chemicals like lead, antifreeze, nitrogen and sulfuric acid could be burning in the fire.” People within 3 miles of the explosion were asked to wear masks. The EPA is monitoring air quality. According to ABC7Chicago “Just 25 days before the massive chemical fire, inspectors from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Health and Safety Administration showed up at Chemtool to investigate a complaint.” Details of the complaint were not reported.  Chemtool is a subsidiary of Lubrizol, a specialty chemical manufacturer owned by Berkshire Hathaway.

Hydrochloric acid spill, Tsubaki Automotive, Chicopee, Massachusetts

June 11, 2021

A hydrochloric acid spill sent one employee of an automotive equipment manufacturing plant to the hospital.

Chemical fire, PCI Synthesis Newburyport Massachusetts

June 11, 2021

An early morning chemical fire at a pharmaceutical drug manufacturing plant caused heavy smoke to be emitted from the facility. The same facility was the location of explosions and a fire in Feb. 2020. In 2019 the EPA fined PCI Synthesis $200,000 for hazardous waste violations and in 2015 the company was fined by OSHA for “serious violations” involving 23 people. For the most recent incident the city of Newburyport suspended all of the company’s permits, shutting it down until an investigation is conducted. The French pharmaceutical firm Seqens SAS owns PCI Synthesis.

Fire/Hydrochloric acid spill, Dover Chemical, Dover, Ohio

June 11, 2021

An early morning fire at a chemical plant led to a rapid shutdown of the facility. The shut down caused the leakage of hydrochloric acid. Local roadways were closed and a shelter-in-place was issued for nearby residents. As of June 14, no cause was given for the incident. Dover Chemical manufactures alkylphenols, chlorinated paraffins, liquid and solid antioxidants, and other polymer additives.

Acid spill, Senior Aerospace, Burbank, California

June 9, 2021

Employees were forced to flee from the metal fabrication facility after an acid spill was mixed with water. 

Fire, Crestone Peak Resources oil well, Bennett, Colorado

June 5, 2021

A fire at a fracking site closed down portions of local roadways. The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office reported “They’ve taken steps to mitigate the chemicals to reduce the risk to firefighters. They’re about to go in w/foam trucks. Drone video shows 2 pump trucks have burned so far, a 3rd is on fire.” The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission fined Crestone fined $186,544 in 2020 for four infractions. Five contractors were injured in a fire at another Colorado facility operated by the company in 2019. The June 5, 2021 fire raged for six hours and sent a plume of black smoke that could be spotted for miles. 

Evacuation/Shelter-in-place, Wood River, Illinois 

June 3, 2021 

Railcars containing spent sulphuric acid from a Phillips 66 refinery became overpressurized and began venting the chemical in the area of Wood River, Illinois. Over 430 homes and businesses were evacuated.

May 2021

Refrigerant leak, Longview Waste Control recycling facility, Longview, Washington

May 26, 2021

The waste control building was evacuated and temporarily closed after a leak of an unknown chemical caused eye and other irritations among employees. Employees located the source of the leak and removed it before fire crews arrived. It is suspected that the chemical is some sort of refrigerant.  

Chemical Leak, Allied Universal, Palmetto, Florida

May 26, 2021

A leak of caustic liquid at the plant, which produces water treatment chemicals, sent one worker to the hospital with chemical burns. A second worker, also suffering from burns, drove himself to an urgent care facility.

Fire, Akron Coating and Adhesives Inc., Akron, Ohio

May 24, 2021

Hazmat crews were called in after a fire was reported at the facility, which provides “industrial adhesives and technically challenging and precise compounding, adhesive coating, die cutting, printing, and packaging,” according to the company website. Residential homes were evacuated for a half a block from the facility. Fire Lieutenant Sierjie Lash was reported saying, "We've got it under control, but we have not gone in due to the nature of the chemicals inside." She did not have information on the specific chemicals or quantities involved in the fire.

Fluoride spill, Alabaster Water, Alabaster, Alabama

May 18, 2021

The company reported that approximately 1,500 gallons of fluoride spilled when a tank broke while being fixed for a slow leak. “Alabaster Water reported that no one was injured during the break, and the majority of the fluoride spilled into a secondary containment structure. A very small amount of the chemical sprayed out through a crack in the pipe, but was safely removed,” according to a Shelby County Reporter story.


Fire, Chevron refinery, Richmond, California

May 14, 2021

A fire broke out at the 245,271 barrel a day facility. A spokesperson from the Contra Costa Health Services was reported to have “determined the refinery fire did not approach “action levels” for contaminants of concern, and believed that the “community should not have been adversely impacted” by the incident.


Chemical leak, one hospitalized, Solenis chemical plant, Chicopee, Massachusetts

May 13, 2021

One employee was hospitalized after the spill of an unidentified chemical at the facility, which is a specialty chemical producer and water treatment company. 


Worker overcome by argon gas, Amcor food packaging plant, Saylor Township, Iowa

May 12, 2021

Hazmat crews rescued a worker who was overcome by fumes while in a 10-foot pit at the plant, which produces packaging for the food, personal care and medical industries. While losing consciousness the worker fell off a ladder injuring his head. 


Nitric acid leak, two hospitalized, Linamar, Arden, NC

May 12, 2021

55 gallons of nitric acid were released onto two workers. The workers were hospitalized with chemical burns. Linamar provides power systems for commercial vehicles and industry. 


Nitroethane release, Eco Services, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

May 6, 2021

A pipeline burst releasing nitroethane vapor which was brought under control. A few hours later a second pipe burst resulting in another vapor release of the chemical. Employees were told to shelter-in-place and no injuries were reported. Exposure to nitroethane can cause headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea and vomiting. It is also an explosion hazard.  The facility operates two sulfuric acid regeneration units that use virgin sulfur, spent sulfuric acid, and other sulfur-bearing materials to make sulfuric acid. The units are also RCRA Part B permitted facilities, allowing the furnaces to be fueled by a mixture of natural gas and hazardous waste derived fuel.


Hydrofluoric acid injures worker, Diamond Chemical, East Rutherford, New Jersey

May 6, 2021

A worker was severely burned when he was splashed with hydrofluoric acid while hooking up a hose line. His injuries included inhalation burns. Diamond Chemical produces industrial and institutional cleaning and sanitizing products. 


Hydrogen fluoride leak, Marathon Oil, Texas City, Texas

May 4, 2021

An undetermined amount of hydrogen fluoride was released from the pipes near the alkylation unit of the oil refinery resulting in the hospitalization of two workers and a shelter-in-place order for local residents and employees. Inhalation of hydrogen fluoride can lead to severe health problems and even death. Both employees were expected to recover. The facility makes fuel and petrochemicals. It uses hydrofluoric acid as a catalyst to produce high-quality gasoline blending components.


Noxious fumes, New Indy Containerboard paper mill, Catawba, South Carolina

May 3, 2021

While under EPA investigation for “a strong, rotten odor affecting thousands of people in the region,” the company requested an allowance to increase its emissions limits by 47 percent. The EPA was reported to have believed hydrogen sulfide to be the source of the odor and is monitoring levels in the region. In April, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) called the New Indy Containerboard paper mill a “significant contributor” to thousands of odor complaints in York and Lancaster county in recent months.

April 2021

Noxious odor, ZOLL Medical Corp/Bio-Dek Pawtucket, Rhode Island

April 29, 2021

Twenty employees were hospitalized after reports of a noxious odor in the facility, which produces medical parts and electrodes. Employees complained of trouble breathing and irritated eyes, noses and throats. The cause of the odor was not immediately known. According to news website Report Door “Employees of the facility, which was fined in 2018 for violating environmental controls, were instructed not to speak to reporters.”


Fire, Manor Chemical, St. Louis, Missouri

April 29, 2021

A firefighter was injured at a wholesale chemical distributor’s plant and officials evacuated residents within a half-mile radius. It was reported that up to 10 chemicals could have been involved in the fire, but the names of these chemicals were not released. According to the company website, Manor Chemicals stores and sells chemicals for cars, paint, printing, dry cleaning, and industrial manufacturing. 


Hydrochloric acid leak, ChemArt, Lincoln, Rhode Island

April 27, 2021

Workers were evacuated after a pump valve malfunctioned when a tanker was delivering

hydrochloric acid  to the facility. ChemArt produces jewelry, ornaments and other keepsakes. 


Fire, T&R Chemicals, El Paso, Texas

April 26, 2021

Local residents reported hearing an explosion before a fire broke out at the facility,which produces “pine oil, dipentene and other derivatives, pine oil soap formulations, and other products” No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.


Suspected chemical leak, Newburg Egg, Woodbridge, New York

April 26, 2021

A suspected chemical leak at an egg processing plant led to nineteen injuries. Employees reported dizziness and shortness of breath.


Hydrogen Sulfide release, Limetree Bay Refinery, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

April 24, 2021

Several local schools were evacuated while residents complained of headaches and other irritations after an overnight release of hydrogen sulfide exceeding EPA’s limitations caused a strong and troublesome odor throughout the nearby community. Local environmental groups said the prior EPA administration set lenient air pollution standards in a community of color, where 27% of residents live below the poverty line.


Explosion, ADA Carbon Solutions, Coushatta, Louisiana

April 23, 2021

Two workers were burned during an explosion and subsequent fire at the plant, which lasted several hours. However, according to Fire Chief Jeremy Neal he was “prohibited from providing detailed information about what happened because of a confidentiality contract signed by the previous fire chief. The contract, which he said other area fire districts also signed, prevents the fire district from talking about what goes on on ADA Carbon Solutions’ property.” ADA supplies activated carbon.


Fire, Organic Valley Creamery McMinnville, Oregon

April 20, 2021

A three-alarm fire at a creamery forced officials to evacuate residents within a half-mile radius. Authorities were concerned about potential leaks of anhydrous ammonia. 


Fire, Domino Sugar Factory, Baltimore, Maryland

April 20, 2021

A three-alarm fire in the Domino “sugar shed” caused the building to partially collapse. The Domino plant, owned by American Sugar Refining Inc., was the site of an explosion in 2007. That incident was believed to be caused by a buildup of sugar dust. No serious injuries were reported in either incident. 


PFAS foam spill, Kalamazoo/Battlecreek International Airport, Kalamazoo, Michigan

April 14, 2021

A spill of an unreported amount of PFAS firefighting foam at the airport caused authorities to improvise a fix to stop the leak by using zip-ties.


Sewage sludge discharge, York City Wastewater Treatment Plant, York, Pennsylvani

April 12, 2021

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced it would issue a Notice of Violation the facility released an estimated 5,000 gallons of sludge on March 27, 2021. Additionally, it was reported, “On April 3, about one week after the sewage leak, an aged valve on a separate digester leaked a small amount of poisonous gas at the facility.” The gas was identified as hydrogen sulfide. 

Yenkin-Majestic Paint’s OPC Polymer unit explosion, one fatality, nine injuries, Columbus, Ohio

April 8, 2021

One worker was killed and nine others injured after a massive explosion and fire caused the collapse of the company’s olefin polymer unit. Causes of the explosion were under investigation, but the Chemical Safety Board reported that “Materials stored onsite include maleic anhydride, phthalic anhydride, xylene, and mineral spirits.” OCP Polymers makes alkyd coatings for applications such as urethane topcoats.  According to the Columbus Dispatch the OPC Polymers unit “was cited for 26 [OSHA] violations after a six-month investigation. Of the 26 violations, 25 were deemed serious — which is classified as "death or serious harm could result." One worker was electrocuted in an industrial accident in 2011. 


Toxic chemical fire, K-Solv warehouse, Channelview, Texas

April 7, 2021

According to the chemical distribution company, K-Solv, a fire that burned for two hours was caused by the transfer of a mixture of toluene and naphtha into a container. The company reported that forty-one different chemicals burned in the fire, including trichloroethylene.

Radioactive phosphogypsum waste retention pond breach, HRK Holdings, Palmetto, Florida

April 3, 2021

A breach at a former phosphate fertilizer plant retention pond caused the evacuation of over 300 homes in the area and caused concerns about runoff into Tampa Bay. The pond holds 800 million gallons of process water contaminated by radioactive phosphogypsum and other toxic waste.  Fears of an imminent catastrophic failure subsided by mid-April. 

Chemical fire, unnamed company, Goleta, California

April 1, 2021

A mixing of chemicals at an unnamed business caused a fire and leakage of contaminated water. Local businesses were evacuated. The chemicals involved in the incident were not reported. The event occurred at 6325 Lindmar Drive in Goleta. According to Google Maps, this is the home of Microdyn Nadir, a water treatment membrane producer.


Overheated butyl acrylate, BASF, Greenville, Ohio

April 1, 2021

Two containers containing butyl acrylate overheated and released smoke at a BASF automotive coating plant. Local roads were closed for two hours.

March 2021

Fire, “chemical smoke cloud,” Sartomer Americas, Chatham, Virginia

March 29, 2021

A barrel containing an undisclosed chemical overheated and created a chemical smoke cloud.  Arkema, the parent company of Sartomer, did not name the chemical but described it as “an acrylic building block used in products such as coatings and adhesives. A nearby high school was evacuated. Sartomer Americas is a manufacturer of resins, owned by Arkema.

“Juice Waste” Runoff, Coca-Cola, Northampton, Massachusetts

March to April 2021

A corroded pipeline at the bottling company caused “juice waste” to leak into the Connecticut River for at least 22 days. The composition of the juice waste was not reported. The plant bottles non-carbonated beverages for the company, such as Minute Maid, Powerade, Honest Tea and Vitaminwater. “The liquid flowing from Coca Cola North America was observed to have a yellow color, had a strong sweet, ripe odor and produced a white foam when shaken,” the Northampton Department of Public Work violation notices read. “The area below the outfall was coated with a gray benthic (algae or bacteria) growth which indicates the discharge has been occurring for an extended period of time.”

“Vapor leak,” one fatality, two injuries, 3V Sigma USA, Georgetown, South Carolina

March 27, 2021

A vapor leak  - possibly a “chloride chemical” - killed an employee at a specialized chemicals plant.  At least two other workers were injured. 3V Sigma USA manufactures synthetic polymers, preservatives, and thickeners for the personal care, home care, pulp & paper and textile industries. 

Sulphuric acid spill, Locatelli Vineyards, San Miguel, California

March 27, 2021

Sulphuric acid from a punctured chemical storage tank at a vineyard forced the closure of a local road. The toxic chemical was reported to have been leached into the soil and released into a storm drain that leads to the Salinas River

Chlorine leak, Newburgh, New York

March 27, 2021

A leak of chlorine, possibly from a commercial chlorine tank, forced the evacuations of the Cornerstone Family Health Center and the Mullen’s apartment complex. 

Explosion and fire, Rason Asphalt, Melville, New York

March 24, 2021

A tank holding liquid asphalt exploded, and firefighters were called in to battle a blaze that blanketed the area with thick clouds of smoke. 

Chlorine Leak, Opelousas City Sewer, Opelousas, Louisiana

March 18, 2021

Several nearby residents were evacuated after a chlorine leak was discovered in the city’s wastewater treatment plant. 

Fire, Thunderbolt Racing Fuel, Cornelius, Oregon

March 16, 2021

A fire and explosions at a racing fuel plant forced the evacuation of local residents. 

Contaminated drinking water, San Angelo, Texas

March 16, 2021

Officials in San Angelo issued a “do not use” order after high levels of benzene, naphthalene and acetone were found in the city’s water. The source of the contamination was unknown. 

Hydrochloric Acid leak, Ohio Aluminum Chemical LLC, West Chester, Ohio

March 15, 2021

Authorities issued a shelter-in-place order for a half-mile radius from the plant after a pipe burst. Most of the chemical remained in the building however some did spill into a nearby creek. 

Fire, Cahaba Pallets, Centreville, AL

March 9, 2021

Fire completely destroyed a pallet plant.  A fire department drone detected chemicals stored near the fire and residents living in a half-mile radius were evacuated.

Toxic Fumes, Alliance Roofing Company, Sacramento, CA

Mar. 2, 2021

Several firefighters who responding to reports of odors coming from a roofing company suffered respiratory injuries. They were exposed to fumes, believed to be solvents, leaking from an unmarked barrel.  A one-block radius of the business was evacuated.

February 2021

Refinery fire, Delek Refinery, El Dorado, Arkansas

Feb. 27, 2021

A fire at a refinery injured six people. The Delek Refinery refines up to 80,000 barrels per day of  crude into gasoline, diesel, asphalt and LPG.


Fire, Advanced Foam Recycling Center, Dallas, Texas

Feb 25, 2021

A spark is believed to have caused a massive fire that injured three workers, burned for over a day, and destroyed a polyurethane foam recycling facility in Dallas. Advanced Foam Recycling says it is “the largest scrap foam supplier to the carpet cushion industry.” Polyurethane foam scrap often contains halogenated flame retardants and blowing agents.


Ammonia release, Eastman Chemical, St. Gabriel, Louisiana

Feb. 22, 2021

Ammonia was released from the Eastman Chemical plant. It was unclear what caused the release of ammonia, which reportedly lasted for about 10 minutes, from the facility. Three employees of a nearby business were exposed. According to Eastman’s Risk Management Plan, the chemical plant stores up to 187,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia.  “Anhydrous ammonia, and alcohols are reacted to produce amine products, such as ethylamines and isopropylamines.”


Three million pounds of toxic chemical releases, 194 facilities, attributed to freezing conditions, Texas 

A surge of cold weather in the Deep South led to hundreds of emissions incidents at oil and chemical plants, especially in Texas.   According to data compiled by Catherine Fraser of Environment Texas, 194 facilities reported over three million pounds of toxic chemical releases related to the freezing weather of February 11 to 22, which shut down power and halted natural gas deliveries.  For example: 

  • BASF/Total olefins plant in Port Arthur released 32,883 pounds of 1,3-butadiene, benzene, ethyl benzene, styrene, toluene, and xylene.
  • Olin Blue Cube chlor-alkali / epoxies plant in Freeport released 859 pounds of 1,3-dichloropropane, epichlorohydrin, ethylene, ethylene dichloride, and vinyl chloride.
  • Occidental Chemicals (OxyChem) chlor-alkali plant in Ingleside released 804 pounds of ethylene dichloride, hydrochloric acid, nitrous oxide, and vinyl chloride.
  • Solvay fluorochemicals plant in Orange released 125 pounds of chlorotrifluoroethylene.
  • OxyChem vinyl chloride monomer plant in Deer Park released 27 pounds of chloroform, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride.
  • Guardian Industries insulation plant in Corsicana released 0.22 pounds of lead.

Incident details available at the Texas Council for Environmental Quality Air Emission Event Report Database.


Toxic chemical flaring, Valero Energy Corp refinery, Memphis, Tennessee

Feb. 15, 2021

Flaring by Valero released 501 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 101 pounds of hydrogen sulfide gases, and misted the nearby Nonconnah Creek with oil. The company blamed the flare on cold temperatures. The refinery makes  gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and petrochemicals.


Fire, Stanton Energy Center coal fired power plant, Orlando, Florida

Feb. 13, 2021

A burst of hydraulic fluid from a pipeline ignited and caused a major fire at the 34-year old power station. “This right here might be a major explosion getting ready to happen,” said a plant operator in an urgent 911 call.


Oil Spill, Chevron Long Wharf, Richmond, California

Feb. 10, 2021

Approximately 600 gallons of an unknown petroleum product spilled into the San Francisco Bay after a pipeline at Chevron’s refinery developed a leak. 


Attempted poisoning by hack, Oldsmar Water Treatment Plant, Oldsmar, Florida

Feb 8, 2021

Hackers tried to increase the level of lye in local water supplies from 100 to 11,100 parts per million (pmm). Levels above 10,000 ppm can harm the gastrointestinal tract. The hackers briefly altered the water supplies before alarms were initiated.


Boron trichloride leak, Leepoxy Plastics, Fort Wayne, Indiana 

Feb. 8, 2021

Boron trichloride leaked after a worker disconnected a hose, forming a toxic cloud.  Workers escaped without injury. The company is a custom formulator of epoxies and urethanes. 


Unknown toxic exposure, 29 injuries, Philips North America oral care products, Ontario, California

Feb. 4, 2021

Twenty-nine people were injured and nine were hospitalized with respiratory trouble after being exposed to an unknown contaminant. The facility manufactures oral care products. 


Styrene monomer spill into Ohio River, Dart Polymers polystyrene packaging plant, Owensboro, Kentucky

Feb. 3, 2021

Dart Polymers spilled 900 gallons of styrene monomer from a collection basin. “Approximately 300 gallons left the property and entered the environment, including the Ohio River.”  The company uses the styrene monomer to polystyrene food and beverage packaging. More information here. 


Ammonia Leak, Tyson Foods chicken plant, Noel, Missouri

Feb. 3, 2021

Hazmat and fire crews responded to an ammonia leak at a Tysons Foods chicken processing plant. OSHA cited the same facility in 2007 with 46 serious violations, including failure to provide an special alarm for ammonia releases.

January 2021

Chemical Leak, Onslow Water and Sewer Authority (ONWASA), Jacksonville, NC

Jan 30, 2021

The local water authority shut down two production wells after PFAS contamination was found nearby, near Camp Davis Marine Corp. Outlying Field.  PFAS have not yet been detected in drinking water or groundwater, but private wells have yet to be tested in the city of Jacksonville.

Fire, Atlantic Fiber Company recycling plant, Passaic, New Jersey

Jan 30, 2021

An 11-alarm fire broke out at a recycling facility. The plant had the capacity to process up to 40,000 tons of single-stream municipal waste per month. The company specializes in recycling corrugated cardboard and other paper products.

Fire, Camden Iron & Metal scrap metal plant, Camden, New Jersey

Jan. 29, 2021

A fire at a scrap metal recycling facility burned for at least eight hours. Residents were evacuated to local shelters.

Liquid Nitrogen Leak, Six Fatalities, Foundation Food Group chicken packaging plant, Gainesville, Georgia

Jan 28, 2021

A liquid nitrogen leak at a chicken plant killed six workers. Foundation Food Group is a joint venture of Prime-Pak Foods and Victory Processing. It operates three poultry processing sites in Gainesville.“The processing plant uses liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze chicken, and the ‘inadvertent release’ happened on one of the plant’s five production lines”, according to Katherine Lemos, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board’s chairman and CEO.

Hydrochloric Acid Leak, Dover Chemical, Dover, Ohio

Jan. 26, 2021

A leak of hydrochloric acid at the chlorination process building of this industrial chemical company caused a cloud of gas to form around the building. Dover Chemical manufactures fire retardants and surfactants.

Ammonia Spill, Kellogg, San Jose, California 

Jan 22, 2021

Kellogg’s building was evacuated and a shelter-in-place alert was issued to nearby residents after an unknown amount of ammonia was released at the company’s facility on Eggo Way.

Fire, Washington Potato Factory, Warden, Washington

Jan 22, 2021

A fire at the potato factory edged close to an ammonia tank, leading officials to evacuate the surrounding area. “We’re just standing back and waiting to see if that tank does explode,” Kyle Forman, a spokesperson the county sheriff’s office was reported as saying. 

“Dramatic” Chemical Reaction, Gemini Signage, Cannon Falls, Minnesota

Jan. 15, 2021

One person was injured when two unidentified chemicals were accidentally mixed together at a signage manufacturing plant.

Fire/Toxic Smoke, Specialty Products Inc, Lakewood, Washington

Jan. 14, 2021

A fire at a polyurethane foam plant released a toxic cloud and forced the evacuation of buildings and homes within a half-mile radius.

Chlorine Leak, Malteurop Malting Co., Great Falls, Montana

Jan. 11, 2021

Hazardous materials (Hazmat) crews were called in to address a chlorine gas leak at a malting facility.

December 2020

“Chemical Incident”, Daniele Prosciutto Inc, Burrillville, Rhode Island 

Dec. 28, 2020

Workers evacuated a cured meat plant, and 10 people were transported to the hospital with upper respiratory irritation.

Chemical Smell, One Fatality, Fallon Middle School, Dublin, California

Dec. 24, 2020

Two school custodians were found unconscious after families called police when they didn’t return from work. One later died. Police responding to the situation noted a mysterious chemical smell. 

Chemical Mixture, Galloway Co, Neenah, Wisconsin

Dec. 23, 2020

“Fire chief Kevin Kloehn says hazmat crews have been sent to the scene to investigate whether chlorine was erroneously emptied into a tank filled with acid.” Three employees were treated and released. Local residents were evacuated. 

Ammonia Leak, Pepsico, Orange County, Florida

Dec. 15, 2020

Hazmat crews evacuated the building and were investigating the source of the leak. 

Two-alarm industrial fire, Agricultural supply yard, Oxnard, California

Dec. 14, 2020

A fire in an agriculture supply yard set off a series of explosions and caused a building to partially collapse. Local officials, “worried that the fire threatened fertilizer and other chemicals stored at the yard,” ordered residents to shelter-in-place.

Sulfuric Acid Spill, Coca-Cola, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Dec. 12, 2020

Coca-Cola plant employees were evacuated after a tank containing sulfuric acid spilled while being offloaded. The spill was contained. 

Ammonia Leak, Consumer Fresh Produce, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Dec. 11, 2020

Ammonia leaked from the roof of a cold-storage facility.


Fire, Odjfell Oil Terminal, Seabrook, Texas

Dec. 11, 2020

A hydraulic fuel fire broke at an oil depot; local residents were ordered to shelter-in-place. 

Freon Leak, CF Cold Storage, Haverhill, Massachusetts

Dec. 10, 2020

A Freon leak caused employees to become lightheaded. The cold storage facility was evacuated.

Chemical Odor, Brookline Department of Public Works, Brookline, Massachusetts

Dec. 9, 2020

A chemical odor in the Municipal Service Center caused four employees to be sent to the hospital for evaluation.

Explosion, One Fatality, Optima Belle Chemical Plant, Belle, West Virginia

Dec. 9, 2020

Chemical batch processing equipment exploded and released chlorine, methanol, and metal shrapnel, into the surrounding area. One worker died, three were injured. Officials enforced a 2-mile radius shelter-in place and closed dozens of local schools.

Anhydrous Ammonia Leak, Dole Food Company, Springfield, Ohio

Dec. 9, 2020

One person was injured before fire and hazmat crews contained a leak of ammonia from a salad packing and distribution plant.

Refinery Fire, Magellan Midstream Partners, Corpus Christi, Texas

Dec. 5, 2020

A fire and explosion of an oil tank at the Magellan Storage Facility injured seven people and led to shelter-in-place orders to the local community for two hours. Two workers, who were cleaning the tank, later sued Magellan for allegedly causing life-changing injuries.

Fire, Ameritech Heat Treating Services, LaPorte, Texas

Dec. 5, 2020

A fire involving an unknown chemical at a metal heat treating facility caused authorities to issue a shelter-in place order.

Nitrogen Leak, Two Fatalities, Golden West Food Group, Vernon California

Dec. 1, 2020

A nitrogen leak at the Golden West food processing plant left two people dead.

Fire, Eastman South Coal Gas, Kingsport, Tennessee

Dec. 1, 2020

A “minor incident” led to a “small fire” at the Eastman coal gasification plant. In 2017, an explosion at this plant disrupted operations for weeks.

November 2020

Hazardous Chemical Spill, Amazon Distribution Center, Eastvale, California

Nov. 28, 2020

Firefighters evacuated 150 employees and several were hospitalized after possible exposure to an unknown hazardous substance. The workers reported to be feeling ill with “undisclosed mild to moderate symptoms.” Earlier in the year, workers complained to state and local authorities “about what they say are dangerous working conditions at the facility that could expose them to the novel coronavirus.”


Chemical Explosion, MGP Ingredients, Atchinson, Kansas 

Nov. 27, 2020 


An investigation is being conducted as to what caused the second explosion at a distillery in four years. In 2016, a truck driver mistakenly unloaded sulfuric acid into a hypochlorite line at the MGP plant, leading to an explosion that hospitalized 100 people and released a cloud of chlorine gas over the city. More info here


Chemical Leak, Ascend Performance Materials, Escambia, Florida

Nov 27, 2020


A power outage led to the release of anhydrous ammonia, nitric oxide, and nitrogen dioxide for over 30 hours. County officials said they were never notified of the leak while it was occurring. Ascend Performance Materials makes adipic acid, BHMT, dimethyl esters, hexamethylene diamine, keytone alcohol, nitric acid and nylon salt, at this plant. More information here


Ammonia Leak, Tyson Prepared Foods, Hutchinson, Kansas

Nov. 21, 2020

A meat packing plant was evacuated after ammonia leaked from a meat packing refrigeration unit. Two workers were transported to the hospital. 


Fuel Tank Explosion, Thomas Plastic Machinery warehouse, Scottsdale, Indiana 

Nov. 19, 2020

A fuel tank exploded and triggered a fire in a plastics machinery warehouse. One worker was hospitalized and the nearby area was evacuated.


Fire, Ohio Metallurgical Service, Elyria, Ohio

Nov. 16, 2020 

A fire at a metal heat treatment facility caused an explosion and blue and pinkish flames.


Ethylene Oxide Leak, Croda, New Castle, Delaware 

Nov. 15, 2020

Delaware Public Media reported that, according to the Department of Natural Resources, the Croda chemical plant “had exceeded its annual emission limit for ethylene oxide at an air pollution scrubber, and that the scrubber had failed to reduce volatile organic compound emissions by at least 95 percent. Croda also routed an unpermitted source into an air pollution scrubber and operated an unpermitted source of ethylene oxide at a part of the plant known as a hotwell, which environmental regulators say condenses vapors from the purification and distillation of crude ethylene glycol.” The latest problems followed a massive leak at the plant in 2018 which caused a shutdown of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. 


According to its Risk Management Plan, Croda stores as much as 1,433,200 pounds of ethylene oxide in rail cars at the Atlas Point site. It uses ethylene oxide in the manufacture of surfactants. 


Chemical Released - One Fatality, Wacker Polysilicon, Charleston, Tennessee

Nov. 13, 2020 

A release of a mixture of steam and hydrochloric acid killed one contract worker and injured several others at a polycrystalline silicon plant.


Fatality, Flash Tank Services, Channelview, Texas

Nov. 12, 2020 

A worker cleaning out a tanker that previously held toluene was found dead. “Authorities say it's not exactly clear how the man died since he was wearing a respirator at the time.” More information here. 


Fire/Explosion, One Fatality, Pureline Treatment Systems, Bensenville, Illinois 

Nov. 12, 2020

At time of reporting it was unclear what caused the explosion at the factory which produces chlorine dioxide generators for water treatment. Firefighters were challenged by a leaking barrel of hydrochloric acid that mixed with water from an overhead sprinkler system and formed a chemical cloud. 


Chemical Leak, Hexion Chemical Plants, Springfield, Oregon 

Nov. 1, 2020 

A formaldehyde leak shut down local streets and caused several people to be transported to the local hospital for evaluations. Hexion is the country’s leading manufacturer of formaldehyde-based resins.

October 2020

Tank Collapse, INEOS, Lima, Ohio

Oct. 26, 2020 

A storage tank, which was reported not to be in service, collapsed during the night, shaking up local residents who were told they were not in danger. Contents of the tank were said to be proprietary and not revealed. “The plant's primary product, acrylonitrile, is manufactured by combining ammonia, propylene and air,” according to a Risk Management Plan.

Contaminated Groundwater, Velsicol Chemical, St. Louis, Missouri 

Oct. 24, 2020 

A two foot thick slurry containment wall installed in 1982 when the chemical plant was demolished was discovered to be leaking by EPA inspectors. The inspectors found evidence that contaminated groundwater had spread into a neighborhood but said that no contaminants were evident in drinking water. The facility had produced chemicals such as DDT and flame retardants. 

Explosion, New Mexicann Natural Medicine, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Oct. 20, 2020 

An explosion at a cannabis production facility severely burned two workers.The state suspended New Mexicann’s licenses. According to High Times, the facility had a similar explosion in the past. “Back in 2015, that explosion also burned two coworkers. It happened when two workers were extracting THC using cannabis that was soaked with butane and then heated to boil off liquid and create hash. The method is looked down on as unsafe by many in the industry because of the highly flammable nature of butane that is heated during the extraction process. At the time, New Mexicann Natural Medicine was fined $13,500 by OSHA and cited for at least 12 violations, which were considered serious by the state.”

Chemical Spill, ND Paper, Old Town, Maine 

Oct. 7, 2020

More than 30,000 gallons of pulping chemicals were spilled into the Penobscot River after a sewer line ruptured. 

Improper Chemical Storage and Disposal, Kassouni Manufacturing Inc. (KMI), Belding, Michigan 

Oct. 6, 2020

The company is facing a $115,000 fine and has been prevented from using, storing or disposing trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCICA). The chemical, which is used to kill bacteria in swimming pools and hot tubs, had been mishandled in the past at the facility resulting in release of chlorine gas clouds and a dumpster fire. 

Chemical Leak, Boston College chemistry center, Boston, Massachusetts 

Oct. 5, 2020 

A leak of hydrogen-sulphide into an air vent forced the evacuation of the building housing the Merkert Chemistry Center. No injuries were reported. 

September 2020

Chlorine Leak, Salisbury Paleo Water Treatment Plant, Salisbury, Maryland  

Sept. 25, 2020

A worker discovered a leaking chlorine cylinder at a water treatment plant. Hazmat teams capped off the 150 pound cylinder, and the employee was sent to a hospital for evaluation. 

Foundry Fire, ABC Coke, Huntsville, Alabama

Sept. 24, 2020

Three employees were injured in a flash fire that occurred at ABC Coke, owned by coal company Drummond Company.  This is the largest largest merchant producer of foundry coke in the United States. ABC Coke was fined $775,000 for improper benzene emissions in 2019. Further information here

Chemical Leak from Gunfire, Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC, Ridgeway, New York 

Sept. 22, 2020 

Five people were arrested after bullet holes were found in tanks, and caused agricultural chemical tanks to leak.  The three adults and two juveniles admitted to target shooting in the area.

Chlorine Dioxide Leak, Domtar paper mill, Kenosha, Wisconsin

Sept. 22, 2020

A leak of 2,000 pounds of chlorine dioxide at a paper mill forced employees to be relocated and local traffic to be rerouted. 

Fire, 2 Fatalities, Evergreen Packaging Mill, Canton, North Carolina

Sept. 21, 2022 

A fire, at the 2,000 acre paper mill, was reported to have been started in a “process vessel.” Two contractors who died apparently were there to repair damaged equipment. As of January 20, 2021, a U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigation remains underway.

Chemical Explosion, Arizona State University research laboratory, Tempe, Arizona 

Sept. 16, 2020 

An explosion of chlorine dioxide at a research lab at the University injured 3 people. 

Chemical Fire, Bio Lab, Conyers, Georgia

Sept. 14, 2020

According to a local report, “Plumes of toxic vapor rose out of the warehouse where Trichloroisocyanuric acid was stored. The chemical is in a powdered form and used to treat and clean swimming pools. When water came in contact with the chemical it released a chlorine or bleach smell.” As a result, hazmat crews closed a nearby four-mile stretch of I-20 for several hours. 

Explosion, Averitt Express transport hub, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Sept. 11, 2020 

An explosion and flames were reported at a shipping company’s loading dock where acetylene cylinders were being transported. “It is unknown whether one of the cylinders was ruptured or leaking during offloading,” a fire spokesman said. 

Chemical Leak, Littleton High School, Littleton, Colorado 

Sept. 10, 2020

A leak of chlorine, gas and muriatic acid in the pool room of the school sent one person to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Fire, CPI Products plastics plant, Williamson County, Texas 

Sept. 10, 2020 

A fire destroyed a rigid plastics factory. Local residents were ordered to shelter in place, close their windows and shut off air conditioners. 

Explosion, FAR Chemical, Palm Bay, Florida 

Sept. 8, 2020 

A series of explosions at FAR Chemical rattled windows and released fireballs resulting in a shutdown of US-1. A Palm Bay spokesperson said the blasts originated from a storage area containing barrels of an isopropyl alcohol-based solution. More information here. Florida Department of Environmental Protection cited FAR Chemical for failing to notify residents within 24 hours of the release of “potentially hazardous materials into the air.”   A site Risk Management Plan lists bromine and trimethylchlorosilane as hazardous chemicals it uses on site to manufacture pharmaceutical intermediates and other chemicals.

Chemical Spill, Department of Homeland Security, Washington D.C.

Sept. 2, 2020 

Hazmat teams responded to a chemical leak involving a spill of sulphuric acid from a leaking battery that was part of an emergency power backup unit. Parts of the DHS building were evacuated and employees were sent home for the day. One person went to a hospital for evaluation.

Chemical Leak, Sabic Plastics, Selkirk, New York 

Sept. 1. 2020 

A styrene leak at a rail station on Sabic’s property in Selkirk, NY caused officials to authorize a shelter in place for residents in a 1 mile radius and evacuations for non-essential personnel in a ½ mile radius. The rail car was reported to have contained 180,000 pounds of styrene, according to Sabic executive Scott Danzey. Later reports revealed the railcar had been sitting in the railyard for 3 months.

August 2020

Hurricane Laura incidents 

August 27, 2020

“According to a WWNO/WRKF analysis of publicly-available reports and emails from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), while the majority of facilities emerged unscathed from the Category 4 hurricane, nine out of the 138 facilities that were inspected suffered critical damage.”

Plains All American reported a leak of an unknown amount of crude oil from a 40,000 barrel storage tank. EPA said it received 31 reports of oil and chemical spills in the wake of Hurricane Laura.

Critical damage was reported at the Lotte Chemical plant in Lake Charles and Equistar Chemicals facility in Westlake. The Chemical Waste Management facility in Lake Charles, according to WWNO/WRKF, reported “severe” damage, including the potential “total loss” of a transfer facility.  

The most significant incident occurred at the BioLab chemical plant in Lake Charles (below).A massive fire consumed this swimming pool chemical plant after being damaged by Hurricane Laura. The fire burned for two days and shut down Interstate 10. EPA found chlorine above detection limits in nine neighborhood locations.  BioLab reportedly stores 835 tons of the chemical trichloroisocyanuric acid. A U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigation is ongoing, as of January 20, 2021. 

In addition, according to New Orleans Public Radio, “The EPA is investigating potential damage at two Superfund sites in Louisiana — possible leaching of creosote-laden soil at American Creosote in DeRidder, and another incident at Marion Pressure Treating in Marion.” 

Reform Austin reported that the pollution began before the Category 4 hurricane struck the Gulf Coast. “ “With Hurricane Laura threatening the Gulf Coast region, the oil refineries and petrochemical plants that stretch across the Houston area and Southeast Texas took their customary precautions of shutting down operations. In doing so, they released about 4 million pounds of pollutants into the air.” 

Chemical Release, Valero oil refinery, Port Arthur, Texas

Aug. 27, 2020

Valero reportedly released 840 pounds of sulphur dioxide around its Port Arthur operations during shut down procedure for Hurricane Laura. 

Chemical Leak, Motiva oil refinery, Port Arthur, Texas

Aug. 27, 2020

“In Texas, refineries were rushing to shut down as Laura came barrelling toward the coast. But shuttering these plants actually involves releasing millions of pounds of additional pollution. As part of shutdown procedures, these facilities often need to release and burn off (or flare) various unprocessed chemicals and gases,” reported Grist magazine. “In fact, when Laura made landfall in southeast Texas, a report by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality showed that Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery, the largest oil refinery on the continent, had a chemical leak on a process line during the shutdown.”  According to publication Reform Austin, “Motiva’s emissions totaled nearly 90 tons, including a half-ton of benzene. The plant reported releasing more hazardous pollutants during the hurricane than it did in all of 2018.” 

Tank Fire, Pasadena Refining Systems refinery, Pasadena, Texas

Aug. 18, 2020

A tank fire was reported at Pasadena Refining Systems, adjacent to Buffalo Bayou. The product in the tank was “unknown,” according to a NOAA report.  There was no discharge of foam or fire suppression water into the waterway.  A site Risk Management Program report says the refinery “operates a variety of processes to produce petroleum products (e.g., refinery grade propylene, gasoline, fuel oil, and coke) from raw crude oil. The refinery has several regulated flammables, such as hydrogen, methane, ethanes, propanes, butanes, and pentanes. In addition, the refinery uses chlorine for algae control in cooling towers and hydrogen fluoride in the making of gasoline, which are also regulated substances.”

Explosion, 2 Fatalities, DAR PRO Solutions cooking oil/meat recycling plant, Byram, Mississippi

Aug. 15, 2020

An explosion killed two workers at a company that recycles used cooking oil and inedible meat byproducts for use in pet food. According to the Associated Press, DAR PRO Solutions did not report the incident to authorities.

Explosion, Brainerd Chemical warehouse, Dunn, North Carolina 

Aug. 11, 2020

An explosion occurred in the chemical distribution warehouse, apparently after sodium chloride and sulfuric acid were mixed.

Multiple Fires, Xcel Energy, French Island, LaCrosse, Wisconsin

Week of Aug. 24, 2020

Fire crews put out two fires in three days at a power plant. The first occurred in a dust collection system, the second broke out in a conveying system and was reported to have taken 40 firefighters nearly 7 hours to put out.  The plant burns garbage and fuel oil.

July 2020

Chemical Spill, Borden Dairy, Winter Haven, Florida

July 29, 2020

A leak of a liquid at a dairy plant formed a cloud of gas and the site was evacuated. The leak was reported as   a combination of “Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Hypochlorite, Sodium Polyacrylate, Nitric Acid and Phosphoric Acid.”

Chemical Leak, Wrentham Water Treatment Plant, Wrentham, Massachusetts

July 21, 2020

Two workers were hospitalized after being sprayed with potassium hydroxide from a pressurized hose. 

Chemical Leak, Amazon Warehouse, Phoenix 

July 16, 2020

Residents nearby a distribution warehouse were told to evacuate, and those further away were ordered to shelter in place, after a semi-truck was discovered smoldering and emitting a chemical odor. "Initially representatives from Amazon could not be found delaying the identification of the products inside the trailer," according to a local report. The identification of what was described as a hazardous chemical was never given to the press.

Flash Fire, Pyrotechnic Specialties, Byron, Georgia

June 18, 2020 

An explosion and flash fire caused burns to a worker at the facility. “The man was injured while turning potassium nitrate into pellets...The chemical is used in fireworks, rocket propellants, gun powder and more,” according  to a local news report. In 2016, OSHA fined the company $176,000 after another explosion injued an employee.

Chemical Spill, DENSO Manufacturing automotive components plant, Battle Creek, Michigan

June 16, 2020

A tank containing diluted chemicals, including sulfuric acid and hydrofluoric acid, spilled and caused an evacuation of the facility. One worker was sent to the hospital for inhalation of fumes. The plant makes automotive air conditioning and engine cooling components. 

Explosion, Troxel Company steel tubing plant, Moscow, Tennessee

June 15, 2020

An explosion in the ventilation system at the factory sent three workers to the hospital with burns. Troxel manufactures steel tubing. 

Explosion, Praxair Inc., Texas City, Texas 

June 11, 2020

A rupture in a nitrogen line caused an explosion at the facility, which produces hydrogen. 

Explosion, Derichebourg Recycling metal scrap yard, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 

June 10, 2020

Neighbors of the plant complained after an explosion shook nearby houses and caused a fire and a plume of smoke. “This isn’t the first or second time,” one neighbor said. Frequent explosions from this metal shredding plant have been reported at least since 2013

May 2020

Chemical Release, BioLab swimming pool chemical plant, Conyers, Georgia 

May 25, 2020

A chlorine vapor cloud caused the shutdown of roadways and the evacuations of surrounding buildings, while residents were told to shelter in place. Officials blamed the release on water exposure. It was reported that the facility had been the site of several chemical fires in the past 16 years.

Explosion/Fire, SmokeTokes hash oil warehouse, Los Angeles, California

May 16, 2020 

An explosion and fire in a hash oil warehouse injured several firefighters who ran into the burning building only to be confronted by a ball of flames. “Some of the fleeing firefighters were on fire and tore off their protective equipment and left it on the sidewalk, along with melted helmets.” 

Ammonia Leak, Tyson Foods meat processing plant, Albertville,  Alabama

May 12, 2020

The plant was evacuated, with no injuries reported. Tyson is the world's largest meat and poultry processing company. OSHA previously said the company “failed to separate compressed gas cylinders of oxygen and acetylene while in storage - a violation for which OSHA cited the company in 2013 at its Albertville, Alabama, facility.” 

Explosion/Fire, The Allen Company, Berea, Kentucky 

May 10, 2020

The plant produces blacktop asphalt. An explosion in a heater caused the explosion. Fire was fueled by “100 gallons of oil and a natural gas line.” 

Fire, Magnesium Elektron, Madison, Illinois  

May 7, 2020

Fire broke out at a factory that produces magnesium alloys for batteries, electronics and cars. “It was determined oil and trash had caught fire at the facility. Magnesium was not involved as a fuel source for the blaze. The exact cause of the fire has not been determined.” The company paid a $50,000 fine after a fire in 2012. That Madison Fire Chief said, “I’ve been on this department 35 years and there’s probably been several fatalities out here. … From explosions or what have you.” 

Explosion/Fire. Henkel AG surfactant plant, St. Louis, Missouri 

May 1, 2020

A violent explosion occurred at a St. Louis surfactant plant. There were reports of sulfuric acid being leaked.  No injuries were reported.

April 2020

Fire, Chemical Solvent Inc, Cleveland, Ohio

April 29, 2020 

A reported boiler malfunction caused a fire at CSI’s Jennings Road solvent blending plant. The Jennings Road plant is one two company sites that were issued fines from the EPA in Sept. 2019.  Under the consent decree with EPA, Chemical Solvents was to “pay a $400,000 penalty and upgrade control devices and monitoring equipment, implement a leak detection and repair program for waste and product tanks, and close a wastewater sump.” 

Lightning Strike, Chalmette Refining, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana 

April 18, 2020

“Plumes of smoke and the smell of chemicals emanated from the Chalmette Refining plant in St. Bernard Parish after power failed during heavy thunderstorms on Saturday,” according to “The incident happened just after 4 p.m.. Chalmette Refining said there were no injuries and the plant flared off excess gasses, though the company did not specify what was burned, but the smell was reported across the New Orleans metro area. Some said it smelled like gasoline, while others in the Irish Channel complained of a burning tire smell in their neighborhood.”

Explosion/Fire, Bloomington-Normal Water Reclamation District, Bloomington, Illinois

April 16, 2020 

A methane gas leak in the building that managed sludge and gas production caused an explosion and subsequent fire. An employee opening the door to check the gas level was caught in the explosion and received minor injuries. 

Explosion, Pixelle Specialty Solutions Paper Mill, Jay, Maine 

April 15, 2020

An explosion destroyed a digester that produces pulp.  Some employees suffered respiratory issues and were treated and released. By October 29, 2020 the company had laid off 177 people from the mill. A statement from the company blamed the layoff on, “the costs and hardships caused by April’s explosion.” 

Coal dust cloud, Crawford Coal Plant, Chicago, Illinois

April 10, 2020 

The demolition of a shuttered coal plant unleashed a heavy cloud of coal dust over Chicago’s south side neighborhood of Little Village. “The demolition happened as officials are trying to contain COVID-19, a respiratory illness,” reported the Chicago Tribune. “The neighborhood near the plant has already had at least 268 people fall ill with COVID-19.”

Fire/Explosion, Valero Refinery, St. Bernard’s Parish, Louisiana 

April 9, 2020

One person was injured from an explosion of which a blown pressure relief valve was a suspected cause. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said the refinery also flared “excess materials.” No results of air monitoring were available and the company did not disclose if any chemicals were released. More information here

Explosion, OneH2 hydrogen fuel plant, Long View, North Carolina

April 7, 2020

According to a local news report, “OneH2 provides hydrogen fuel tanks for commercial vehicles, such as forklifts. Witnesses said their homes were shaken by the explosion. Some of the houses had doors and windows blown out by the blast...Catawba County officials said about 60 homes near the plant suffered minor damage. One home was declared uninhabitable and the owner is being assisted.”  In June 2020, nearby residents asked the plant to be moved to another, safer location. 

Additional Incident Resources