Category Archives: Chemical Leaks

Spain Chemical Plant Blast Cloaks Towns in Toxic Cloud



A blast at a chemical plant cloaked a region in northern Spain in a huge orange toxic cloud on Thursday, according to local reports. Three at the plant some 30 miles from the city of Barcelona were injured in the explosion, which also forced some 60,000 people in the surrounding communities to remain confined indoors for hours, La Verdad newspaper reported.

The explosion at the installation owned by Simar — which distributes and stores chemicals, according to its website — occurred at 9:45 a.m. (3:45 a.m. ET), the newspaper reported. Company officials were not immediately available for comment.

Officials ordered school and university students to remain indoors and said parents should not pick them up, news website 20 Minutes reported. Pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems were told to remain indoors even after the general warning was lifted, according to La Verdad.

The blast appeared to have been caused by two chemicals coming into contact during delivery to the plant, the regional government of Catalonia said in a statement, Reuters reported.

– F. Brinley Bruton and Alex Smith

David Grau

An orange toxic cloud hangs the town of Igualada, near Barcelona, following an explosion in a chemical plant, February 12, 2015

First published February 12th 2015, 7:13 am


Top ten climate polluters in Kentucky

James Bruggers, 7:14 p.m. EDT September 30, 2014



Power plants top Kentucky’s biggest sources of climate pollution, according to just-released data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

There’s no surprise there.

But a prominent chemical plant in Louisville’s Rubbertown area — Dupont Louisville Works — is in the top ten biggest climate polluters in Kentucky for its emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, which the EPA say are actually more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to heating up the atmosphere.

The EPA released its fourth year of Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program data, detailing greenhouse gas pollution trends and emissions broken down by industrial sector, geographic region and individual facilities. In 2013, reported emissions from large industrial facilities nationwide were 20 million metric tons higher than the prior year, or 0.6 percent, driven largely by an increase in coal use for power generation, the agency said.

That figure intrigued me because conventional wisdom is that we’ve been burning more natural gas (which has less impact on the climate) and less coal.

RELATED: Air pollution district, union agree on job cuts

There is a lot of data to look at, and this is just my first crack at it. I started by doing a quick search of top emitters in Kentucky and Indiana, then top emitters in Louisville Metro, or Jefferson County.

Kentucky Utility’s Ghent plant topped all of Kentucky’s largest industrial sources of a several greenhouse gases, with 12.8 million metric tons released in 2013, the most current year for which the data is available. That’s up 12 percent from the year before. LG&E’s Mill Creek plant in Louisville ranked third, with 7.9 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, a 20 percent decrease since 2010, according to the data.

But Dupont, the long-time Rubbertown chemical plant, ranked 7th, emitting 4,1 million tons, nearly all of that hydrofluorocarbons. That number was down from about 6 million pounds in 2011.

So what are hydrofluorocarbons and what impact do they have on the climate?

From the EPA:

Unlike many other greenhouse gases, fluorinated gases have no natural sources and only come from human-related activities. They are emitted through a variety of industrial processes such as aluminum and semiconductor manufacturing. Many fluorinated gases have very high global warming potentials (GWPs) relative to other greenhouse gases, so small atmospheric concentrations can have large effects on global temperatures.

HCFCs can have a global warming potential of between 140 to 11,700 times that of carbon dioxide, EPA says. The larger the global warming potential, the more warming the gas causes, according to EPA. The agency explains it this way: “For example, methane’s 100-year GWP is 21, which means that methane will cause 21 times as much warming as an equivalent mass of carbon dioxide over a 100-year time period.”

Statewide rankings for Kentucky:

1) Ghent power plant, 12.8 million metric tons.

2) Paradise power plant, 12.1.

3) Mill Creek power plant, 7.9.

4) H.L. Spurlock power plant, 7.8.

5) Trimble County power plant, 7.3.

6) Shawnee power plant, 7.2.

7) Dupont Louisville Works chemical plant, 4.1.

8) R.D. Green power plant, 3.6.

9) East Bend power plant, 3.5.

10) Coleman power plant, 3.3.

Two southern Indiana power plants ranked among the top ten greenhouse gas emitters in Indiana:

1) Gibson power plant, 16 million metric tons.

10) Clifty power plant, 5.8 million metric tons.






Translated into Japanese

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Fukushima’s Children are Dying

Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal.
More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people-nearly 200,000 kids-tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.
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More than 120 childhood cancers have been indicated where just three would be expected, says Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project.
The nuclear industry and its apologists continue to deny this public health tragedy. Some have actually asserted that "not one person" has been affected by Fukushima’s massive radiation releases, which for some isotopes exceed Hiroshima by a factor of nearly 30.
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Translated by: Carole Hisasue & Sam Kanno


Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) has been illegally pouring toxic coal ash into the Ohio River,


Liked · May 29 · Edited

BRAZEN: For years, Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) has been illegally pouring toxic coal ash into the Ohio River, unbeknownst to neighboring communities. Now thanks to a hidden camera and satellite imagery, the utility has been caught and faces a lawsuit from Earthjustice along with huge fines.
LG&E could be fined up to $68 million along with $37.5K for each day that goes forward until the dumping is stopped. Coal ash contains a toxic brew of pollutants, including mercury and arsenic, which can cause cancer. It’s the waste product left over from the nation’s coal-fired power plants. Here’s great information on coal ash >>
Help SPREAD this post and TELL US >> Do you think the fines are harsh enough for LG&E’s years of illegal dumping?


Crude Oil Train Derails, Catches Fire, Spills Into Virginia’s James River | ThinkProgress

Crude Oil Train Derails, Catches Fire, Spills Into Virginia’s James River | ThinkProgress.

oil train derailment lynchburg

A CSX freight train carrying crude oil derailed in Lynchburg, Virginia Wednesday afternoon around 2 p.m. according to local authorities, “causing extensive flames and dense black smoke” to reach into the air.

The City of Lynchburg said that between 12 and 14 crude oil tanker cars derailed next to the James River, though fortunately there have been no reported injuries. The cause “has not been determined” at this time, according to a statement posted on the city’s website.

WSET reporter James Gherardi estimated that the tankers were no more than 100 feet from river.

“You don’t often imagine the James River on fire,” said WSET anchor Len Stevens during his station’s live broadcast.