On October 29, 2009, Raleigh Outpost OSC Kenneth Rhame received a call from the NC Department of Health and Human Services of a mercury spill at a residence. The spilled occurred on Monday, October 26, 2009, when a jar containing a pint of mercury fell from a shelf and distributed the mercury throughout the floor. The renter living at the house attempted to clean up the mercury, but was unsuccessful. On Tuesday, October 27, 2009, the Pierces Mill Volunteer Fire Department went to the residence, and evacuated the house and requested assistance from the Regional Response Team 3 out of Fayetteville to conduct air monitoring of the residence.
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The RRT 3 arrived and attempted to clean the mercury spill using a mercury vacuum cleaner. They all used the proper PPE while conducting clean up activities. Their response actions were unsuccessful, and they called the Cumberland County Fire Marshall. The Fire Marshall condemned the building and denied further entry or occupancy until a certified letter from a HAZMAT cleaning company was produced by the resident.
Based on the spill amount and the current site conditions, Phone Duty Officer dispatched OSC Rhame to conduct an assessment and oversee response actions. OSC Rhame will also assess if the Pierces Mill Volunteer Fire Department gear was contaminated with mercury. START contractor Tetra Tech was requested to assist with air monitoring. EPA resources are expected to commence activities on the morning of October 30th.