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DEQ: Westlake blast released several chemicals

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GEISMAR- State environmental officials say an explosion and fire last month at the Westlake Chemical Corp. complex in Geismar was the fifth and most significant release of chemicals at the plant since the beginning of 2010.

The March 22 fire primarily released hydrochloric acid, chlorine and vinyl chloride monomer. Records of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality say those release exceeding the one-hour permit level for those chemicals and at least three other compounds.

No one was injured in the explosion. The cause is still under investigation.

Westlake said it bought the complex in 2002 from Borden Chemical and spent nearly $20 million for environmental and safety improvements. The plant was built in the mid-1970s.

News 2's Stephanie Ryan will have more on the report at 5 p.m.

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