Norco Dow Plant Releases Chemical Leading to Evacuations, Scare

As reported on our sister blog, Dow Chemical has experienced another chemical leak in Southeast Louisiana. This time involving the very dangerous titanium tetrachloride. The incident has led to the evacuation of two schools and various roads while local emergency experts assess the situation.

WWL reports Scott Whelchel, emergency operation director for St. Charles Parish, as stating the situation is under control and actions being taken are out of concern and precaution.

He says out of an abundance of caution they are evacuating some homes just north of the Shell Norco facility east of Spruce Street and south of 5th Street. He says the winds are now blowing any chemical cloud over the spillway and away from homes.

Whelchel says if anyone smells a chemical odor the should call 911.

“What they would smell is a hydrochloric acid smell because that’s what it actually mixes with the air, this chemical it turns into hydrochloric acid,” he explained.

Two schools are in the evacuation zone. They are Norco Elementary School and Sacred Heart. Whelchel says they have relocated students who arrived early and advise parents to await further information on where to take their children, but do not bring them to the school.

This incident is sure to draw the ire of various environmental groups, including the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, at a time where claims filed against the chemical manufacturer are moving forward in response to their chemical leak in Hahnville. That incident, which the Berniard Law Firm is “representing a great number of New Orleans residents in, dealt with the release of ethyl acrylate into the air, leading to residents ranging from Hahnville to Kenner to New Orleans experiencing a myriad of medical symptoms. For more information on that incident, feel free to check out our website Dowleak.com or read up on the circumstances surrounding the incident on our blog section dedicated to the incident, located here.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.