August 2, 2008

Spill at YC Packaging Company Leads to Evacuations

By Rob Young, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

Aug. 2--A toxic chemical spill Friday forced about 20 employees to evacuate a Yuba City packaging firm.

Steve Steckbauer, an official at Deluxe Packages, 800 N. Walton Ave., said a 55-gallon drum containing a catalyst for adhesives ruptured with a "boom" about 9:30 a.m.

Steckbauer estimated about 20 gallons of the chemical spilled from the drum, which he said was connected to a pumping system.

Yuba City firefighters and police responded.

"It was not a lot that spilled, but it takes special equipment" to clean it up, said Steckbauer.

The Fire Department's Battalion Chief John Limus said an evacuation of the plant was ordered "to be on the safe side."

Lt. Tom Tappe of the Police Department said the chemical was a viscous liquid or sludge called polyfunctional azirdine. Fumes from the substance are hazardous to breathe, he said.

Yuba City firefighters wore respirators and hazmat suits during the cleanup, said Limus.

No one was injured, according to Steckbauer and Tappe. Neighboring businesses were not evacuated.

Firefighters soaked up the chemical with an absorbent, which will be disposed of by a private hazardous waste firm, Tappe said.

The spill will be reported to the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, said Tappe.

The plant manufactures packaging for the state's produce industry, said Steckbauer. Deluxe Packages is a division of Paperboard Packaging Corp.

Contact Appeal-Democrat reporter Rob Young at 749-4710 or at [email protected]


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