DuPont reports ammonia leak at Belle plant #hazmat

KANAWHA COUNTY Tuesday March 1, 2011 DuPont reports ammonia leak at Belle plant  CHARLESTON, W.Va. — DuPont said about 20 pounds of ammonia apparently leaked from the top of the ammoniatank at its Belleplant early this morning.  The plant sounded the fume alert at 2:36 a.m. “after a remote sensor detected a smallleak from a vent on top of the ammonia tank,” DuPont said in a prepared statement. “The plant emergency response team responded and closedthevalve from the tank leading to the vent.  “No one was injured during the incident,” the company said. “The BelleFireDepartment responded to the plant gate as a precaution per our normal joint protocol. The all clear was sounded at 3:12 a.m.  “We have not detected any ammonia odors at groundlevel on site norarewe aware of any reported odors offsite,” the company said. “Our initial calculations indicate that the quantity releasedwas approximately 20 pounds, which is below the reportable threshold quantity.  “We are continuing our investigation to finalize our calculations on the quantity released and determine the cause of the leak,” DuPont said. “All appropriate government agencies havebeen notified.”  According to DuPont’s material safety data sheet for ammonia,thechemical causes skin and eye burns and nose, throat and lung irritation. Gross overexposure may be fatal.

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