Hit Valve Leaks Anhydrous Ammonia

Monday, June 10, 2013 @ 07:06 PM gHale

The two chemical companies involved in Tuesday night’s anhydrous ammonia leak in Winnebago County, IL, are now facing citations for polluting the environment.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) also wants an immediate injunction filed against Conserv FS and Schoff Farm Service.

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A Schoff tanker truck hit a valve on Conserv FS’ ammonia loading rack. The IEPA said the leak went on for 12 hours and almost 8,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia released. Efforts to cap the leaking valve by local fire department personnel failed to fully stop the leak and the tank continued to empty over the next 12 hours with fire officials spraying water on the discharge to minimize the spread of the vapor. The leak ultimately contaminated 100,000 gallons of water used by firefighters.

The runoff went into a branch of the Kent Creek which flows into a private pond that killed dozens of fish. Additionally the IEPA wants the Attorney General to obtain a court order to clean this up and make improvements.

Conserv constructed dams of limestone on its property to contain the remaining water onsite from the earlier spraying activity, and installed an aerator in the private pond the evening of June 5 to help dissipate the ammonia in the pond. Local officials are continuing to monitor the situation and assessing current conditions in the area.

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