The Hahnville chemical leak that took place at the Dow Chemical plant is a story that has been getting a lot of traction in New Orleans, throughout the state and even nationally. As residents were exposed to an unknown amount of the dangerous gas without even knowing it, answers are being demanded and true responses should be coming from the company. The state of Louisiana is showing initiative in investigating Dow Chemical for their part in the leak of ethyl acrylate from a tank into the air, thereafter affecting countless people in the Southeastern Louisiana area. The Times-Picayune reports
A state Department of Environmental Quality official said Monday that an investigator has been at .Dow Chemical’s Hahnville plantnearly every day to investigate the cause of the the July 7 leak of ethyl acrylate fumes that irritated the noses eyes and throats of residents for miles around.
“He’s meeting with Dow people and asking some very tough questions about what happened, how it happened and how can we prevent it from happening again,” said Mike Alegro, manager of the DEQ’s southeast regional office, Monday afternoon.
The remarks came after an environmental watchdog group is charging that state DEQ officials allowed a problem with three previous leaks of the chemical, starting in October and ending June 15.
“These reports provide further information that Dow has had an ongoing problem with ethyl acrylate and apparently with this tank, and that the Department of Environmental Quality has known about it” said Randy Caruso, a Spatial Analyst for the Bucket Brigade.
“Both Dow and DEQ have failed to take the appropriate steps to get to the root of the problem and protect the public.”
State officials said the July 7 release was well below the toxic threshold of 25 parts per million over an eight-hour period.
Hopefully with state action in full force, answers will begin to come forward on how many of these incidences have been happening without Dow disclosing them and just how safe Louisiana is from companies that produce such hazardous chemicals. More information as it becomes available will be posted at DowLeak.com and this blog.