Sulfuric acid spill contained at PCS

Staff reports

A valve that leaked sulfuric acid into the atmosphere at the PCS Nitrogen plant in Geismar prompted sheltering in place in White Castle Thursday after the cloud of vapors drifted across the Mississippi River.

State Police reported roads near the Ascension Parish plant and in White Castle were blocked off during the incident, but there were no injuries or significant impact.

Ascension Parish Homeland Security issued the sheltering in place warning at the plant, and Iberville Homeland Security warned residents of White Castle.

Under a sheltering in place warning, residents are advised to stay in homes or businesses, turn off air conditioners and close doors and windows until the alert is lifted.

Officials from PCS reported that initially 30 to 50 gallons of sulfuric acid per minute leaked into the air. The flow was reduced to about 10 gallons per minute, until the 700-ton tank was emptied out by pumping.

The shelter in place warning was lifted early Thursday afternoon.