Chemical release reported in West Chester

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


WEST CHESTER ? Four fire departments and three emergency management groups responded Tuesday to the report of a chemical release from Koch Nitrogen Company outside West Chester.

According to the Washington County call log, an ammonia release was reported at 12:52 p.m. from Koch Nitrogen Company at 2156 Fir Ave. just northwest of West Chester.

No injuries at the time and everyone was safely evacuated from the building. People on scene were wearing level A hazmat suits, the highest level of protection for the skin, eyes and respiratory system that are all at risk when exposed to the dangerous chemicals. The wind was from the northeast and blowing toward Fir and Highway 92 diagonally. The incident was identified as a small valve leak and the valve was capped off. According to the report there had been no chemical release.

Responding to the scene were Wellman Fire, Wellman Rescue, Keota Fire, Washington Fire, Keota QRS, Washington County Ambulance, Washington County Sheriff?s deputies, and Washington County Emergency Management. Muscatine HAZMAT was requested, then disregarded by Wellman Rescue.