At the request of KDEP, OSC Smith was deployed at 1700 hrs. on 06/13/10 to investigate the release of a Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) product from a tank car at the former Rohm and Haas facility on Camp Ground Road in Louisville, KY (NRC No. 943871). (The plant is now operated by Dow Chemical Company). The car which was loaded with 175,000 lbs. of an MMA product known as "3rd vent monomer" was discovered to be venting at around 1230 hrs. Pressure build-up indicated signs of polymerization. There was a shelter in place issued as a precaution for off-site areas adjacent to the plant, but it was lifted around 1600 today. As of 1800 hrs. EDT, air monitoring readings at areas along the site perimeter were non-detect for VOCs.
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EPA and KDEP evaluated runoff from the vapor suppression water stream being applied to the tank car. A sample was collected and analyzed for monomer constituents in an on-site lab. The results were non-detect for residual monomers at a quantitiation limit of 1 mg/l.
EPA responded to a similar incident at this facility in 2008. At that time, the material in the tank car hardened up like plexiglass after about 8 days. The 105-J tank car is specifically designed for monomer service, and built to withstand pressures of polymerization without failing.
OSC Smith demobilized the facility at 2130 hrs. EDT on 06/13/10. Lake Dreamland Fire Department is in command of the incident, and is performing air monitoring along with the Louisville Metro Health Department to ensure that vapors remain below occupational levels within the plant perimeter.
On 06/14, the release ended at about 0200 hrs. At 0900 hrs. the fire department turned over control of the incident.
In a report to the KY SERC dated 06/23/2010, the total amount released was given as 17,500 lbs.