Tag Archives: Sulfuric acid

SACRAMENTO BEE: State seeks fee on dangerous chemicals crisscrossing California

Repost from the Sacramento Bee

State seeks fee on dangerous chemicals crisscrossing California

By Tony Bizjak, July 22, 2016 6:00AM

• California officials say the state isn’t prepared to handle hazardous materials spills
• A new $45 fee on every rail car carrying dangerous substances will help beef up spill response

Explosion rocks refinery in Texas, injuring one

Repost from ABC13 KTRK-TV, Houston TX

Explosion rocks refinery in Pasadena, injuring one

By Deborah Wrigley, Saturday, March 05, 2016 11:06PM

PASADENA, TX (KTRK) — One person was burned after an explosion at a Pasadena refinery Saturday morning.

Officials at Pasadena Refining Systems, Inc., say the fire began around 10:15am at their refinery off SH 225 and Lawndale Street.

The victim suffered burns to his hands.

Residents in the area told abc13 they felt a powerful blast right before flames began to rise from the plant.

A spokesperson says it all started with an issue involving a compressor. A fire quickly broke out, with burning diesel fuel sending huge plumes of black smoke into the air.

The refinery has their own firefighters, who were able to put out the blaze. Pasadena Police and fire are on standby to assist. The fire was able to be contained and air monitoring indicated no issues.

Drivers and bystanders tell Eyewitness News they could see the smoke miles away from the site of the fire.

The Washburn tunnel was closed by authorities after the explosion.

Viewer photo from the explosion at Pasadena Refining System off SH 225
Viewer photo from the explosion at Pasadena Refining System off SH 225.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the plant has a history of ‘significant violations’ of the U.S. Clean Air Act, and was assessed $1,143,000 in fines because of these violations.

A complaint was filed against the company for failure to follow regulations in connection with the storage of a motor vehicle and engine fuels. The company also paid $2,000 in fines for this in August 2014.

The plant is known to store several chemicals, including Ammonia, Benzene, Ethylene, Hydrogen Cyanide, N-Hexane, Propylene, and Sulfuric Acid.

According to the EPA, there are 20,901 households in the area around the plant, and 24,484 children also live in the area.

Two Union Pacific Freight Trains Collide Head-On in Arkansas, Killing 2

Repost from The Wall Street Journal

NTSB Investigating Arkansas Train Crash

By Laura Stevens, Aug. 18, 2014

Investigators are examining tracks, equipment and human performance factors to determine why two Union PacificCorp.  trains collided head-on collided head-on in Arkansas early Sunday morning after it appears signals were functioning correctly, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The crash, which occurred at about 2:30 a.m. in Hoxie, killed two train crew members and injured two others, according to authorities. One tank car, containing unrefined alcohol, caught fire and burned for hours.

The two trains collided at a location where two main tracks converge into one main track, said Mike Hiller, the NTSB’s investigator in charge of the probe. The plan was for the southbound train, which was on the double track, to stop and wait for the northbound train to take the other track.

“We know that this did not happen and a collision occurred right at that point,” said Mr. Hiller. “We are still trying to gather data to find out why that southbound train did not stop.”

In addition to examining equipment such as the brakes, investigators have requested medical documents and are scheduling interviews to look at the human performance factors. They’ve also shipped the trains’ black boxes to Washington, D.C., for examination.

Liquid natural gas and sulfuric acid were among the hazardous materials on board, Mr. Hiller said. Neither train contained any crude oil tank cars, and all hazardous material was loaded properly into the correct type of tank cars, he added.

The northbound train carried 92 cars, 11 of which contained flammable liquid class hazardous materials including the car with the alcohol, Mr. Hiller said. It originated in North Little Rock, Ark. The southbound train originated in St. Louis, Mo., with 86 cars, 20 of which were carrying hazardous materials.

About 500 residents were evacuated as a precaution in an approximately 1.5 mile area Sunday.