Nitric Acid Leak in Hawkins Point Brings Chaos to Baltimore
Nitric Acid Leak in Hawkins Point Brings Chaos to Baltimore

Nitric Acid Leak in Hawkins Point Brings Chaos to Baltimore

  • 23-May-2023 1:45 PM
  • Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa

United States: On Friday morning around 6:30 a.m., the Baltimore City Fire Department was dispatched to a chemical leak at a W.R. Grace and Company facility located in Hawkins Point, Maryland. The incident was reported on 5500 Chemical Road. Fortunately, no injuries were reported as emergency units quickly brought the situation under control. The leaking vessel has been successfully removed from the site, and the area is now safe for workers and residents.

According to recent reports, a vacuum truck carrying Nitric Acid had leaked around 50-75 gallons of the chemical. However, authorities have confirmed that there was no impact outside the site. As a safety measure, a temporary containment structure was installed beforehand, which helped curb the impact of the spill. The leaking gasket has been fixed, and the truck has been safely moved to the on-site wastewater treatment plant for neutralization. In addition, a neutralizing agent called Soda ash was applied to the spilled acid in the containment area to prevent any further hazards.

In a statement issued on Friday afternoon, chemical company W.R. Grace, headquartered in Columbia, confirmed that no harm was caused by the incident. All employees, contractors, and the surrounding community have remained unaffected and there has been no harm to the environment. The company assures that it is actively investigating the cause of the incident and taking all necessary measures to ensure such incidents do not occur in the future.

Nitric Acid is a transparent liquid that finds its use in the production of fertilizers, dyes, and other such materials. However, exposure to this chemical can cause a range of health concerns, ranging from minor skin and eye irritation to more severe respiratory issues like bronchitis and lung inflammation. It is essential to handle this chemical with utmost care and follow proper safety procedures while using it.

Back in December 2021, an explosion at a coal plant run by railway company CSX caused a massive shockwave across the city, but fortunately, no workers were harmed in the incident. Recently, the Maryland Department of the Environment resolved the matter by levying a fine of $15,000 on CSX and ordering them to pay $100,000 for an environmental project to the South Baltimore Community Land Trust. However, the residents of Curtis Bay have now filed a lawsuit against CSX over health concerns related to coal dust, which has been a persistent issue in the area.

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