Belpre Polymers Plant Experiences Two Chemical Leaks

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The Kraton Polymers plant in Belpre experienced two small chemical leaks within 48 hours — one of which leaked into Davis Creek near the Ohio River.

According to WTAP in Parkersburg, W.Va., the first release of process solvents at the plant occurred around 3:15 a.m. on Thursday as a result of a leak in a piece of equipment that provided cooling to some process equipment.

The leak resulted in a runoff to the plant’s south-side in-plant retention pond and then the adjoining Davis Creek.

Kraton told WTAP that the plant’s environmental support team responded quickly and contained the majority of the leak and had booms in place in the creek.

“Unfortunately, there was a minor fish kill within Davis Creek and the Ohio River,” Kraton said in a news release.

No injuries were reported.

A second spill happened around 10:30 a.m. on Friday at the plant, which Kraton told WTAP was fully contained in a retention pond.

A spokesman for the Washington County polymers plant told the news outlet that the second spill was due to a vapor leak of process solvents.

The company did not believe Friday’s spill would have any effect on Davis Creek.

Belpre firefighters were put on standby following the Friday leak. Belpre Mayor Michael Lorentz told WTAP that the city gets its public water from wells, not from the Ohio River itself.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency were investigating the incidents.