August 1, 2013 |
An Ontario, Calif., food processing plant operator has agreed to pay $157,000 in fines in connection with a release of toxic ammonia, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday. Ventura Foods was cited for failing to immediately notify authorities after its equipment leaked anhydrous ammonia, a poisonous gas, and for deficiencies in its accident prevention and emergency response plans. EPA investigators logged more than two dozen anhydrous ammonia releases at the facility since 2007, including a September 2010 leak into the air and sewer line that was large enough that the company should have reported it immediately under federal environmental laws meant to protect the community.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 13, 2013 |
A street in Long Beach was reopened Monday after an ammonia leak at a storage center near the 710 Freeway shut down the neighborhood for several hours. Firefighters received an alarm from the building in the 600 block of Anaheim Street about 3 a.m., officials said. At the scene, the first responders could smell the ammonia even before they got inside the building, said Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Matt Dobberpuhl. Several small leaks were found, and authorities shut down Anaheim Street for blocks in both directions, officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 13, 2013 |
Streets in a Long Beach neighborhood were closed early Monday after a cold storage facility in the area began leaking ammonia, authorities said. Firefighters received an alarm from the building in the 600 block of Anaheim Street about 3 a.m., officials said. At the scene, the first responders could smell the ammonia even before they got inside the building, said Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Matt Dobberpuhl. Several small leaks were found, and authorities shut down Anaheim Street for blocks in both directions, officials said.
May 11, 2013 |
Astronauts replaced a leaking component on the International Space Station after a 5-hour, 30-minute spacewalk, NASA reported. Engineers Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn completed their spacewalk at 11:14 a.m. PDT Saturday, after gingerly gliding out to one of the station's trusses, where ammonia coolant had been seen leaking since Thursday. The coolant is used to control the temperature of one of eight solar arrays that power the station. The pair, who had worked in tandem during spacewalks twice before, removed the 260-pound pump controller box from the P6 truss and replaced it with a spare stowed nearby.
May 10, 2013 |
Astronauts on the International Space Station may take a spacewalk Saturday to repair an ammonia leak. The gas, used to cool one of the station's solar arrays, began oozing from the left side of the station's truss structure Thursday, officials said. NASA reported that the six-member Expedition 35 crew, commanded by Chris Hadfield, was not in danger, and that the station is operating normally while crew members and mission managers work to reroute power through another of the station's eight power channels.
April 18, 2013 |
The explosion at a Central Texas fertilizer plant Wednesday night could have been caused by ammonia gas or the more well-known explosive, ammonium nitrate, according to chemists. Neal Langerman, principal chemist with Advanced Chemical Safety, a San Diego industrial consulting firm, said the initial fire could easily have caused anhydrous ammonia to explode catastrophically. “It's really hard to ignite, but it's a flammable gas,” Langerman said. “If a tank containing a liquefied flammable gas is subjected to fire, that tank could fail catastrophically, releasing the gas, which will instantly ignite, causing a catastrophic explosion, as was seen.” A robust fire also would be needed to ignite ammonium nitrate, a well-known explosive used in industry and adopted by terrorists.