The Abitibi Bowater paper processing facility released an estimated 220,000 gallons of black liquor process solution (3% sodium hydroxide) from a 2.25M gallon steel tank due to a faulty valve. TDEC SOSCs Bascom and Howell and EPA OSCs Jardine and Patel mobilized to provide oversight of response activity.The solution sprayed for hours from the valve assembly but was contained by the earthen secondary containment that surrounded the tank. Facility personnel reinforced the containment berm to ensure its integrity. The facility in-house hazmat and fire fighting teams held a defensive response position to protect facility property and personnel while the Hepaco was hired to address the release. Hepaco could only minimize flow at the valve; therefore, Abitibi Bowater brought in a specialized equipment firm that was successful in totally sealing the valve and halting the release. The facility intends to reclaim all of the released material and reuse it in process on site. Hepaco is scheduled to return Thursday and conduct the bulk transfer back into the sound tank. No waterways were impacted.
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