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Release of chemical vapor prompts overnight shelter in place order

4 months 3 weeks 6 days ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 May 27, 2016 11:47 AM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Brock Sues

GEISMAR - Ascension Parish officials have lifted a shelter in place notification for residents living within a one-mile radius of the Rubicon chemical plant after a leak was reported Thursday night.

The shelter in place order was executed for all facilities within a one mile radius of the Rubicon facility at around 9:30 p.m. Parish officials say they’ve classified the incident as a “General Emergency.” The Rubicon facility is located in Ascension Parish on LA Hwy 75 (River Road).

The chemical company said maleic anhydride vapor was released from a tank after a release valve opened due to pressure. There were no injuries and no exposure reported, according to Rubicon.

Maleic anhydride is used in the base production of hard plastics and fiberglass.

Rubicon says the amount of vapor released is not a quantity that would require the company to report to the Department of Environmental Quality or Environmental Protection Agency by state law.

The chemical company said the alarm was prompted when a cloud was noticed coming from the unit and blowing off-site.

Road blocks were set up to establish the one-mile perimeter around the facility and all response agencies were notified.

Lt. Col. Bobby Webre of APSO said the plant experienced a leak, and a hazardous materials team responded to the scene.

The shelter in place order was put into executed as a precautionary measure due to wind conditions in the area.

The order was lifted at around 11 p.m. Thursday.

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