Blast Shuts International Paper Plant

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 @ 02:01 PM gHale

A “manufacturing process failure” was the cause of a plant explosion that covered much of Cantonment, FL, in black soot Sunday night.

The explosion at International Paper occurred at 7:30 p.m., but there was no active fire and all employees ended up accounted for. No one suffered an injury in the explosion.

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International Paper released a statement to explain the cause of the explosion:

“We experienced a manufacturing process failure that released a mixture of wood fiber, water and pulping liquor into the surrounding area. If you or your pets have had contact with the materials, please wash the affected area for 15 minutes with soap and water. If you are experiencing skin irritation or respiratory issues, please see your doctor. Avoid contact with your eyes and mouth.

“For those nearby the facility, we are working with response agencies from the county and state and will have additional information as it becomes available.

“If the materials have come into contact with your vehicle, please thoroughly wash your vehicle and avoid contact with the material.”

Neighbors near the plant have spent much of Sunday night and Monday morning cleaning up the black liquor. Images and video from the area show a black substance covering lawns, cars and streets.

International Paper has had environmental violations with the EPA in the past.
• 2 quarters of Clean Air Act violations – resulting in 1 enforcement action and $3,500 in fines
• 8 quarters of Clean Water Act violations
• 2 quarters of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violations

The last inspection of International Paper’s facility in Cantonment was 326 days ago.

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