Chemical Leak At Pace Plant

January 24, 2013

A chemical leak at Taminco Pace #4 plant located at 4575 U.S. Hwy. 90 was reported to Santa Rosa County Emergency Communications by the company at 7:18 Thursday morning.  A shelter in place order was issued as a precautionary measure for the east side of the plant and the public alarm system or sirens were activated.

Two employees and one truck driver were triaged on site and transported in stable condition to West Florida Hospital for evaluation. One employee was taken to Santa Rosa Occupational Health. Two EMS workers were also being evaluated at West Florida.

The spill occurred during a rail transfer on company property and released DMA60, a methylamine-water mixture. The material released is used in pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals and water treatment chemicals. Taminco reports the situation was contained in approximately five minutes. The shelter in place notice was lifted at approximately 7:45 a.m. when an all clear message of the public alarm system was issued. No offsite impact was reported.


Shelter In Place Information From Santa Rosa County

Chemical leaks can happen anywhere in today’s world. Whether you are at home, work or elsewhere, there may be situations when it’s simply best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside.  The process of staying put and creating a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated air outside is known as “sheltering in place.” Residents no matter where they live should learn what steps to take to protect themselves and their family before a shelter in place noticed is issued:

The process used to seal the room is considered a temporary protective measure to create a barrier between you and potentially contaminated air outside. It is a type of sheltering in place that requires preplanning.  If you are told to shelter in place, take your children and pets indoors immediately and:

  • Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
  • If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.
  • Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems.
  • Close the fireplace damper.
  • Get your family disaster supply kit and make sure the radio is working.
  • Go to an interior room without windows that’s above ground level. In the case of a chemical threat, an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air, and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed.
  • Bring your pets with you; and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them.
  • It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room you select. Call your emergency contact and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency.
  • Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room.
  • Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.

Comments

18 Responses to “Chemical Leak At Pace Plant”

  1. Kathy Hanna on May 5th, 2013 3:48 pm

    Actually, I’ve been living in Pea Ridge about 15 yrs. and didn’t know Tominco was a chemical plant. I thought it made plastics. Why would such a thing be allowed in a community? This needs to be out in a remote area where people can’t be harmed. What’s the matter w/ you people? There are schools across the street!

  2. FACTS... on January 25th, 2013 8:31 pm

    I am posting this, but want to make it known I should not. I work at the plant, and was there when this happened. The reason I am posting this is because of all the uninformed opinions and assumptions that make it look like the plant is dumping hazardous waste into the water and air. I can tell you that is not true at all.

    The leak was stopped FAST (no I do not know for sure how it happened), but the vapor cloud was pretty large. It was slowly drifting from the middle of the plant to the East towards the contractors gate (which is not in use). It was almost gone by the time it reached the woods, and that is least a 1/4 mile from Watkins Road. So guess what, brakes rust and water spots happen. I have a friend that lives over there and did not smell anything after it happened.

    The in plant siren gets tested every Wednesday at 10am, and has been for years. The outside sirens are tested the first weekend of the month (Sunday I think). I agree that the people around the plant should have been given a heads up about what the sirens actually mean and what to do. I know a lot of flack has been given over not getting instructions after the siren but have heard that when the guards WOULD have done it they were getting non-stop phone calls (from everyone wanting answers about what was happening) and had people hurt that they were helping.

    I have worked out there for years, and have NO health problems from working around all over the plant. I know they do everything they can to not have any type of spill, even small ones. I know people always complain about the smell, but from what I have seen it is from the ponds in the back that are breaking down the treated wastewater (using algae I heard).

    This plant has one of the best safety records of any plants I have worked in. They are always on us about being safe and following the rules. So before you start trying to throw conspiracy theories or trying to pass blame, check your facts first. If you call the offices on Monday they will talk to you, and if you ask they may bring you in to see what they do. Only way to find out is to ask!

  3. FLSTCI on January 25th, 2013 6:57 pm

    @ Public Genius, How did my rotors get heavily saturated with water when it has not rained

  4. j wright on January 25th, 2013 12:36 pm

    To all that say that it is John’s fault for not know about the alarm it is very obvious that you do not live next to Air Products (Tominco). They randomly test the alarms which reach out to bell lane. The actual emergency that happened today was I am sure disregard as just another test of the system as I live next to Air Products and heard the siren as well. I just thought it was another test. They need to inform people of the spill over the loud speakers and not just another bell alarm which they are currently utilizing.

  5. Public Genius on January 25th, 2013 10:00 am

    @FLSTCI Beacuse your rotors were heavily saturated with water. IF it was from the chemical leak there would be much evidence of it than just rust on your rotors. For instance, every thing made from aluminum would be corroded as methylamine is HIGHLY corrosive to aluminum and some other metal alloys. So unless your wheels are falling apart, no worries. You’re ok, you’re not going to die, your dogs aren’t going to die. It was just a chemical leak; it happens all the time, trust me.

  6. FLSTCI on January 24th, 2013 8:57 pm

    There was alot more to this spill than they are telling us. I live a few miles from Taminco. I did not drive my truck today, I used other transportation. You can clearly see heavy rust on my brake rotors when looking at my wheels. Normally I can leave my truck setting for a week or more and no rust unless it rains. Since I drove my truck yesterday, why is there “HEAVY” rust on my rotors tonight?

  7. anonymous on January 24th, 2013 3:24 pm

    agreed genius. if you live near a chemical plant you should already be aware of the dangers and what to do.

    if you hear alarms, that generally indicates a problem. if you hear a fire alarm in a building, do you just assume its a test and go on about your business?

    if there is an emergency situation at the plant, do you expect really expect someone to be sitting at their desk waiting for you to call and ask what is happening? and do you think you would be the only one calling? if you got no answer, it was either because they were dealing with a serious situation, or they were flooded with calls.

  8. Public Genius on January 24th, 2013 12:56 pm

    For all of the “concerned citizens” out there, you can request a copy the plant emergency policy. This would tell you what alarm is sounding and what you should do. Also, MSDS sheets are published on the plant website which tells you the properties of the chemicals, the hazards associated and how to respond to exposure. If you live next to a plant you should know what the risks are living there and be as informed as the workers inside the plant on what to do in an emergency.

  9. Pea Ridge Mom on January 24th, 2013 11:58 am

    My children go to Pea Ridge Elem and the school did a call out to make parents aware of the situation.

  10. John Porter on January 24th, 2013 10:31 am

    “THE TIMELINE OF THIS STORY IS A BIT DIFFERENT

    THE HORNS SOUNDED AT 705AM THEN ALARMS WENT OFF FOR ABOUT 3 MIN THEN NO INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT TO DO FOR THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE AROUND THE PLANT

    CALLED TAMINCO NO ANSWER
    CALLED 911 AND WAS TOLD TO STAY IN MY HOUSE BECAUSE OF A LEAK
    FINALLY AT 745AM GOT A HOLD OF SOMEONE AT TAMINCO …

    THE SECURITY MEASURES AT THE PLANT NEEDS LOOKING AT FOR I WAS STANDING OUTSIDE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS GOING ON SINCE I HAD NO IDEA I WAS LIVING NEXT TO A CHEMICAL PLANT…NOW DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT GETTING SICK??
    I’M SURE I WILL NOT GET AN ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION…SAD”

    You purchase a house or rent a property and had “no idea” you live next to a chemical plant – NO that is sad…

  11. PaceMOM on January 24th, 2013 10:06 am

    If 911 told you to stay in your home, why were you outside? If you live near a chemical plant and you were not aware of this then that is as you said… SAD. Everyone needs to know their surroundings. The security measure that was taken was to sound the alarms which means stay inside and when they stop it is safe. I understand you have questions but you should of known this before the alarms sounded.

  12. Pace Citizen on January 24th, 2013 9:38 am

    all concerned citizens in the Pace area need to call Taminco 995-5269 and complain and advise that the warning system DID NOT work properly nor did the reverse 911 that is to notify the citizens within the area.

  13. concernedcitizen on January 24th, 2013 9:35 am

    >>>>THE TIMELINE OF THIS STORY IS A BIT DIFFERENT

    I am just curious how one can not know they are living next to a chemical plant? I don’t live in Pace, never have and I know its a chemical plant…. Just sayin……

  14. mg on January 24th, 2013 9:25 am

    @ John, the answer to your question is in the article in the last line

    What did you think that Taminco was?

  15. Delta Zelda on January 24th, 2013 8:51 am

    The chemical plant was built in the middle fifties. How could you NOT know about it?

  16. JOHN SMITH on January 24th, 2013 8:39 am

    INDEED…BUT I LIVE ACROSS THE STREET

  17. William on January 24th, 2013 8:32 am

    >>>THE TIMELINE OF THIS STORY IS A BIT DIFFERENT

    The timeline above is per Santa Rosa County.

  18. JOHN SMITH on January 24th, 2013 8:22 am

    THE TIMELINE OF THIS STORY IS A BIT DIFFERENT

    THE HORNS SOUNDED AT 705AM THEN ALARMS WENT OFF FOR ABOUT 3 MIN THEN NO INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT TO DO FOR THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE AROUND THE PLANT

    CALLED TAMINCO NO ANSWER
    CALLED 911 AND WAS TOLD TO STAY IN MY HOUSE BECAUSE OF A LEAK
    FINALLY AT 745AM GOT A HOLD OF SOMEONE AT TAMINCO …

    THE SECURITY MEASURES AT THE PLANT NEEDS LOOKING AT FOR I WAS STANDING OUTSIDE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS GOING ON SINCE I HAD NO IDEA I WAS LIVING NEXT TO A CHEMICAL PLANT…NOW DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT GETTING SICK??
    I’M SURE I WILL NOT GET AN ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION…SAD





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