Ammonia leak at Lacy-Lakeview fertilizer plant causes small scare

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 4:20pm

An ammonia leak at a Lacy-Lakeview fertilizer plant had local firefighters and a hazmat crew on alert Wednesday morning.

A tank containing anhydrous ammonia was brought to the Equalizer fertilizer plant and had a valve that was not fully closed.

Workers at a nearby business smelled ammonia around 5:30 a.m.

Lacy-Lakeview volunteer firefighters arrived to assist workers in closing the leak.

The terms 'ammonia' and 'leak' and 'fertilizer' bring images of the fatal West explosion in April to mind, but the leak, according to both the fire department and the fertilizer plant, was minimal.

“It’s a completely different kind of fertilizer," explained Lacy-Lakeview Fire Chief Patricia Byars-Faulkner. "This is not the bad kind. We’ve done inspections there. We’ve done walkthroughs with the different fire departments in the area who give us mutual aid. They don’t store anything there. When it comes in, they mix it, and out it goes. This really wasn’t a threat.”

The processing plant at 2746 Old Dallas Road was back to normal by the beginning of the work day.

Luckily, no injuries were reported.



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