Westlake Geismar Fire Probe Closed

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 @ 05:07 PM gHale


Air releases from an early June fire inside a refrigeration unit at Westlake Chemical Corp.’s vinyls plant in Ascension Parish did not exceed pollution limits, company officials said.

With that information, the state closed the investigation into the fire, said Greg Langley, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

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In a June 11 follow-up report to DEQ, Westlake plant manager James Best wrote the liquid organic peroxide either came into contact with unspecified “incompatible materials” or reached a temperature that caused a release of flammable vapors, which ignited.

“At this time, we are still investigating the cause of last month’s fire at our Geismar facility,” Dave Hansen, Westlake spokesman, said Tuesday.

Westlake and DEQ officials have said the fire caused no injuries and, based on air monitoring at the time, did not result in off-site impacts.

Plant firefighters spotted and extinguished the 45-minute blaze, which started about 11:15 a.m. June 4 and sent a dark plume of smoke high into the air.



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