On 8/23/2010, at approximately 0935 hrs., approximately 250-600 gallons of anhydrous ammonia was released into the atmosphere and within the Millard Refrigerated facility located in Theodore, AL. The cause of the pipe rupture and subsequent release is undetermined at this time. Approximately 104 persons were hospitalized, including 5 in ICU. Also, approximately 65 persons affected by the ammonia vapor plume were BP-related contractors associated with the DWH Vessel Decon Site located across the the Theodore Ship Channel. USCG GST and EPA OSC Ullock responded at the request of the USCG-Sector Mobile FOSC-R to provide technical oversight and safety expertise to USCG-Sector Mobile FOSC-R and to the RP and clean-up contractors (SRS, USES and CTEH). The release was secured on 8/23/10, however much of the released Ammonia remains frozen and sequestered within a 24000 sq. ft. freezer with an internal temperature of 0 deg F.
For additional information, visit the
On the afternoon of 8/25/2010 (1700 hrs.), US EPA OSC Ullock assumed responsibility as lead FOSC for the duration of the response and ongoing removal activities. The clean up will be complex, involving neutralization of atmospheric NH3 using cryogenic CO2 along with the possible construction of an on-site NH3 scrubber system.
Clean up is expected to last several weeks utilizing level "B" PPE or other appropriate levels of PPE. Multiple State and Federal Government agencies are involved with investigations, including the CSB, OSHA, USDA , USCG and the ATSDR/CDC who have been asked to conduct an epidemiological assessment.