DNR, firefighters respond to hazardous material leak in Scott City

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Scott City Fire Department and a crew with an environmental cleanup company responded to a hazardous material leak from a semi hauling a flammable material at the Rhodes Travel Center truck stop on Nash Road around 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The spill was caused when a nickel-metal catalyst leaked from a damaged drum in the trailer of a truck owned by Tri-State Motor Transit Co. of Joplin, Mo., said Arthur Goodin, on-scene coordinator with the DNR. The driver of the truck discovered and reported the leak when he made a stop in Scott City after loading up about 400 miles away in Illinois, Goodin said. The leak was likely caused by a drum damaged during loading, he said.

The material was stored in 30-gallon drums and kept underwater inside the drums, Goodin said. When exposed to air, the catalyst smolders and can catch fire, he said.

About 20 gallons of the material leaked into the trailer, and some of the material reached the ground when the trailer was opened, Goodin said. The material that spilled in the parking lot didn't pose a significant environmental hazard, he said, and special equipment was used to remove contaminated soil.

The shipping company hired SEMO Environmental LLC to clean up the spill.

Goodin said no fines would be charged against the shipping company or manufacturer of the material because of their cooperation in the cleanup.

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