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Chemical Spills

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 1991
Hundreds of gallons of a flammable and toxic liquid spilled Tuesday as it was being transferred from a truck to a storage tank, fire officials said. Firefighters responded to reports of spill at Neville Chemical, at 2201 E. Cerritos Ave., at 12:29 p.m. When they arrived, most of the spilled calsol thinner had already seeped into the ground, a fire dispatcher said. Calsol is a moderately toxic and highly flammable chemical, the dispatcher said.
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NATIONAL
January 16, 2014 | By David Zucchino
Few people in West Virginia had any idea that an obscure company was storing a mysterious coal-washing chemical in tanks overlooking the Elk River, just upstream from a major water treatment plant. Nor did many realize that no agency had conducted regular inspections of those tanks, even though they are perched on a steep bank that tumbles down to the river northeast of downtown Charleston. On the morning of Jan. 9, residents complained about a licorice-like odor wafting from the site, operated by a chemical company with the unlikely name of Freedom Industries.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 1989
The hazardous materials team from the Orange County Fire Department investigated Tuesday the release of a chemical substance that was discharged into a storm drain from The Times' Orange County plant, at Harbor Boulevard and Sunflower Avenue. Costa Mesa Fire Capt. Steve Tiedeman said Times officials called authorities after tracing a pungent smell from the newspaper plant to a storm drain located south of South Coast Drive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
BNSF Railway has pleaded no contest to criminal charges and agreed to pay $140,000 in penalties, medical expenses and emergency response costs stemming from a 2012 spill of hazardous chemicals near the Port of Los Angeles, the city attorney announced this week. The rail company had failed to report the June 23, 2012, spill and created a public nuisance when several drums in a cargo container it was transporting leaked phenol, cresylic acid and other corrosive chemicals, City Atty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 1995 | TINA NGUYEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
More than 30 workers were evacuated from an industrial area Thursday after a chemical spill released a foul-smelling cloud from a milling plant, officials said. No one was injured or became ill, officials said. Police, five firetrucks and two hazardous-materials units responded to a call around 6:40 p.m. from workers at a Coca-Cola bottling plant who reported a stench and a chemical cloud looming over the ArrowChem plant.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1990 | MATT LAIT
A chemical spill at a plating company on Monday forced the evacuation of about 50 people working in the plant and other nearby businesses, fire officials said. About 100 pounds of sodium hydrosulfite spilled at Platecorp, 1223 N. Batavia St., about 5:30 p.m., authorities said. Hazardous material teams from Santa Ana and Anaheim assisted Orange firefighters in containing the spill that had the "potential to be highly toxic when mixed with water," Orange County fire dispatcher John Shope said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 1997
A pickup truck carrying pool-cleaning chemicals crashed into a Santa Monica bank building Sunday, seriously burning the driver and sending toxic liquids into the closed bank, authorities said. The truck skidded out of control on Montana Avenue and rammed into the First Federal bank, said Santa Monica Fire Department spokeswoman Roni Roseberg. The unidentified driver, who was scorched by the leaking chemicals, also suffered head and chest injuries in the crash, Roseberg said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 1997 | DAWN HOBBS
A truck accident last fall prompted the City Council to tighten the law on chemical spills. The council adopted an ordinance Wednesday that makes the spiller responsible for all costs incurred during the cleanup of any mishap. The ordinance includes, but is not limited to, hazardous materials. "We never had much of a problem with spills until this last year, and now we've been going back and forth with the trucking firm and the insurance company," City Manager Bill Little said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 1991 | KIM KASH
Emergency planning in case of fires or chemical spills and state requirements on toxic substances will be discussed at a two-part breakfast seminar for Ventura County businesses Jan. 17 and Jan. 24. The seminar, sponsored by the Ventura County Economic Development Assn., is aimed at companies handling toxic materials, which includes "almost all companies with any container larger than five gallons of any flammable liquid," event chairman Kevin Gieschen said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 1986 | Barry S. Surman
Hazardous materials experts were called to two central county businesses Thursday night to clean up chemical spills, then to help fight a chemical fire that forced evacuation of the surrounding area. The county hazardous materials team first picked up 15 gallons of petroleum naphtha, a highly flammable solvent used for degreasing and cleaning mechanical parts, at an Irvine laboratory.
NATIONAL
January 11, 2014 | By David Zucchino
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - For the third straight day, with more ahead, about 300,000 residents of West Virginia were unable to use their tap water because a chemical solvent leaked into the area's water supply Thursday. As authorities on Saturday worked to flush pipes that supply water to Charleston and nine counties in the state, officials said it will take several days to properly test the water to ensure it is safe to drink. “I would think we're talking days," West Virginia American Water Company president Jeff McIntyre told reporters Saturday afternoon.
NATIONAL
January 11, 2014 | By Davd Zucchino
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - For the third straight day, more than 300,000 residents of West Virginia were unable to use their tap water because of a state of emergency declared after a chemical solvent leaked into the area's water supply late Thursday. As authorities on Saturday worked to flush pipes that supply water to Charleston and nine counties in the state, officials said they could still not estimate when the water would be safe to drink. Thousands of residents lined up in a driving rain Saturday morning to collect bottled water or to fill containers with drinking water supplied by emergency management agencies.
NATIONAL
January 10, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
The federal government began moving in water to help hundreds of thousands of people struggling on Friday to cope with the effect of a chemical spill that has left water in nine counties around Charleston, W.Va., off limits for drinking, bathing and cleaning.  Even as aid was being rushed to the area, the U.S. Attorney's office announced it would investigate the spill of a chemical used to prepare coal flow into the Elk River.   President Obama issued a federal disaster declaration for the state on Friday and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other emergency teams began transporting water to the region where as many as 300,000 people were warned not to use municipal water.
NATIONAL
January 10, 2014 | By David Zucchino
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Downtown Charleston, normally packed with Friday night customers at restaurants and bars, was dark and quiet Friday evening. The local health department had ordered restaurants and other businesses to close as a faint chemical odor lingered on the streets. Residents were warned not to drink, cook with or bathe with tap water. Hundreds of thousands of West Virginia residents have no idea when they will again be able to trust their water supply after a chemical used in the processing of coal spilled into the Elk River on Thursday morning.
NATIONAL
January 10, 2014 | By David Zucchino and Michael Muskal
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Hundreds of thousands of West Virginia residents have been left dry with no idea when they will be able to again trust the water from their taps after a chemical used in the processing of coal spilled into a river. As state and federal agencies rushed emergency water supplies to nine stricken counties, officials were promising to investigate how the chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, spilled into the Elk River. It flowed into a water treatment facility about 1.5 miles away, and officials worried it could have polluted water eventually sent to about 300,000 residents.
NATIONAL
January 9, 2014 | By Matt Pearce, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
West Virginia's governor declared a state of emergency for five counties Thursday after a chemical spill contaminated the Elk River, affecting tens of thousands of people and forcing schools and eateries to close. [Updated, 7:25 p.m. PST Jan. 9: The governor has expanded the declaration to nine counties. ] Worried shoppers flooded into stores seeking bottled water after Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said on Twitter: "EMERGENCY: Do NOT use tap water for drinking, cooking, washing or bathing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 1990
Several gallons of fluid spilled from an air-conditioning unit at The Times Orange County plant Tuesday and flowed into storm drains, but the solution never reached a drainage canal, authorities said. The accident occurred as a crew was working on rooftop air-conditioning equipment at the Sunflower Avenue plant, where three past spills recently resulted in $30,000 in fines to the newspaper.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 1989
Seventy-five workers at Memorial Health Center in Huntington Beach were evacuated Friday afternoon after an employee spotted a leak of a hazardous chemical in a storage room on the first floor of the building. According to Huntington Beach fire officials, a total of 31 firefighters and Orange County Health Care Agency specialists helped in the cleanup effort Friday afternoon and evening. There were no injuries, they said.
NATIONAL
March 22, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
A tractor-trailer carrying a dangerous acid overturned on a highway north of Philadelphia, prompting authorities to order thousands of residents to leave the area for almost nine hours. The tanker, carrying 33,000 pounds of corrosive hydrofluoric acid, a component for household detergents, flipped on a sloping curve in the road at the edge of Wind Gap and began leaking slowly. Hydrofluoric acid in low doses can irritate the eyes, nose and respiratory tract, and in higher doses it can cause severe burns, chronic lung disease or even death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
WORLD
February 20, 2006 | From Times Wire Services
A chemical spill in a southern China river prompted officials to cut off water to 20,000 people for several days, the official China Daily newspaper said today. The paper said that a power plant on the upper reaches of the Yuexi River in Sichuan province was to blame for the pollution. Environmental officials suspended the water supply to the town of Guanyin on Wednesday.
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