Chemtura Canada, a chemical manufacturing
company in Elmira, Ontario, was fined $150,00 for discharging 4200
kg of BLE-25 and 112 kg of acetone into the air.
BLE-25 contains diphenylamine (DPA), and is used as an
antioxidant in manufacture of some rubber products. A
closed vent resulted in pressure buildup and release of the
chemicals via a pressure relief mechanism. Although alarms
had gone off for 30 minutes during the spill, no one at the plant
responded. Black particles fell on the company site as well
Chemtura staff alerted residents who were home when the spill
occurred and later notified the Fire Department, which sent out a
telephone alert to notify residents impacted by the spill and to
advise them to minimize contact with BLE-25. The public
health department released a fact sheet to the public advising them
to avoid contact with toys and lawn furniture that may have been
kept outside on the day of the spill, and to avoid eating fruit and
vegetables that were in their gardens or orchards that day.
Black spots of BLE-25 were found on homes, vehicles,
children's toys, outdoor plants and lawn furniture, and in
pools. Trace levels of DPA from the spill were found on
tree leaves, grass, parsley and apples. The spill impacted 220
homes and 270 vehicles.
The company, which had multiple prior convictions related to
discharges, was fined $150,000 + 25% Victim Fine Surcharge (total
$187,500). It spent a further $1.7 million cleaning up
the spill and paying for property damage. As well, Chemtura
implemented preventive measures, including addition of a dedicated
operator to run the BLE-25 process.
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