INSTITUTE, W.Va. — Kanawha County emergency officials say they were not properly notified of a chemical spill that happened Tuesday afternoon at an Institute facility.

The release happened at Catalyst Refiners, but the leak was reported by Bayer CropScience, a neighboring facility.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said county emergency officials weren’t notified of the leak until roughly two hours after it happened, which is unacceptable.

“I spoke to the plant manager and he told me how busy they were they didn’t have time,” said Carper. “That’s a violation in my judgment of county policy and I believe it’s also a violation of state law.”

According to a release from the Kanawha County Emergency Management, the chemicals involved were Hydrogen Peroxide and Nitric Acid. It was also reported that approximately 950 pounds of Nitric Acid were released in the incident.

However, officials with Catalyst Refiners claim that
only 50 gallons were released and it was contained inside the plant.

Carper said regardless of the amount released, the company did not make the right decision in this case.

“The failure to follow state law, the failure to follow county policy and not to mention commonsense, I think that poses unreasonable risk to the public,” he said.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

Carper plans to meet with company officials on Wednesday to further discuss the incident.

“The thing here to do is to see to it that the rules are obeyed,” Carper said. “People have individual responsibility and so do the companies.”

Carper also didn’t rule out a possible meeting in the near future involving all the chemical companies in the Kanawha Valley.


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  • greenspace

    The federal reportable quantity for nitric acid is 1000 lbs. Their release appears to be below the reportable quantity. Specifically, which "law" or "rule" did they break?