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Ethylene Dichloride spill; Calcasieu River , Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu River , Lake Charles, Louisiana | 1994-May-31

Initial Notification: On May 31, 1994, a barge was unloading ethlyenedichloride (EDC) at the Conoco Refinery on the Calcasieu River when a strong chemical smell was noticed. Investigation led to the discovery of a transfer pipeline failure and EDC on the ground and under a layer of water in an adjacent ditch. The ditch outflow to the Calcasieu River was blocked and recovery operations began. By May 31, approximately 630,000 pounds (1,500 barrels) of EDC had been recovered from the ditch. Conoco's contractor collected a sediment sample from the Calcasieu River. Analysis of this sample revealed a concentration of 11,800 parts per million of EDC prompting a new sampling plan for the river. On June 7, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assumed the role of Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC), a representative from the State was designated on-scene coordinator (OSC), and NOAA and the Gulf Strike Team (GST) were released from the scene. When NOAA left the scene, a river sampling program was underway using core sampling in deep areas and grab samples in shallower areas to collect sediments on the river bottom and determine the extent of contamination. USCG district 8. Keyword: none.

Incident Details
Products of concern:ethlyenedichloride (EDC)
Latitude (approximate): 30° 13.90′ North
Longitude (approximate): 93° 5.40′ West