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FIREFIGHTERS INVESTIGATE SPILL OFF SULLIVAN ROAD
For Immediate Release:
October 25, 2019
Spokane Valley Fire
Firefighters Investigate Spill off Sullivan Rd
HazMat incident closes Union Pacific Rail Line
Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) units responded this afternoon to a report of a hazardous materials release from a railcar at Kemira Water Solutions, 2317 N Sullivan. A total of 15 apparatus and support vehicles responded.
Just before 3pm, SVFD was notified by dispatch that an unknown red fluid was leaking from a railcar on the Union Pacific spur line. A drive-by caller on Sullivan noticed a visible stream of red liquid leaking from a railcar. SVFD Engine 5 arrived first on scene and witnessed a red liquid leaking from a railcar under pressure, and began requesting a full hazardous materials response which included units from Spokane Fire Department’s HazMat Team.
The Engine 5 officer made contact with a Kemira official, who stated that the product was Ferric Chloride, and had been leaking for approx. 30min. The Kemira employee also stated that during a routine transfer of the product, a valve or pipe cracked. The leak was not immediately stopped by employees because of the method of transfer used. The normal procedure is to pressurize the tank with air and allow the fluid to move under pressure. When the valve broke, the increased pressure forced the fluid out the hole, instead of through the lines to a holding tank. There was 6500gal of product on the ground and it appeared to responders that the spill was contained in a terrain sump and posed no further danger. There was no vapor or downwind hazards from the spill, despite strong winds. The Kemira employee also told SVFD that company spill protocols were initiated including notifying a private haz-mat clean up team, who had arrived prior to the fire department response.
After the investigation and product identification, the incident was released to Kemira for private clean-up. The Dept of Ecology was notified for follow-up, due to the size of the spill.
There were no firefighter injuries reported and Sullivan Rd remained open throughout the incident. The only impact to commerce or traffic was the closure of the adjacent Union Pacific line for 3hrs. The involved spur line will remain closed until cleanup is concluded, and should only affect Kemira rail traffic.
The Spokane Valley Fire Department would like to remind residents to safely dispose of batteries and other household hazardous materials; and, all chemical spills and fires, no matter how small, should be reported to 911.
Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the cities of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Millwood and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Spokane County with a combined population of 125,000 across 75 square miles. SVFD firefighter crews which include paramedics and EMT’s, responded to more than 17,487 emergency calls in 2018.
Established in 1940, SVFD is an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International; and, classified as an ISO Class 2 department by the Washington Survey and Ratings Bureau (WSRB). SVFD is one of four accredited departments in the state and the only department with distinction as an ISO class 2.
For more information about Spokane Valley Fire Department, visit www.spokanevalleyfire.com.
- Julie Happy