Leak Of Dangerous Chlorine Shows Gaps In La. Monitoring Of Chemical Plants

"Six days after a state Senate panel killed legislation that would have required real-time air monitoring along the edges of major Louisiana industrial facilities, an Olin Chemical subsidiary had a significant chlorine gas leak that sickened 39 people.

While the April 18 incident near Plaquemine caused mostly minor injuries — no one was hospitalized — the sponsor of the bill that would have required "fence-line" monitoring says the leak is a good example of why monitoring is necessary. Weeks after the leak, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said the chemical plant issued inaccurate data during the emergency response.

"The bottom line is that the exact purpose of the bill was to prevent these type of situations from happening," said state Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge. "I do think that DEQ, you know, has to have some type of monitoring device around these facilities and not rely solely on the industry to provide the numbers to them.""

David J. Mitchell reports for the Baton Rouge Advocate August 17, 2022.

Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 09/01/2022