November 13, 2008

Liquid Fertilizer Spill Fouls Va. City

State and federal workers are helping officials in Chesapeake, Va., deal with a spill of 2 million gallons of liquid fertilizer, an official says.

Fire Department spokesman Capt. Steve Johnson said the spill that occurred this week on a Chesapeake road has led to the involvement of a number of state and federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot said Thursday.

Wednesday's spill occurred after a tank collapsed at an Allied Terminals plant, Johnson said. The spill left four people injured and prompted the evacuation of eight area households.

An additional six people were forced to undergo decontamination services after being exposed to the liquid fertilizer, identified as an ammonium nitrate solution.

Johnson told the Virginian-Pilot he was unsure regarding the condition of those injured in Wednesday's accident, but added that the fertilizer is not being considered a health risk due to not being toxic or flammable.

"This is not a serious product. It's not going to explode. It's not going to rot their skin off if they touch it," he told the newspaper.