Crews Clean Up After U.S. Silica Plant Leak in West Virginia

May 16, 2014

Crews are cleaning up a leak of hazardous materials at a sand plant in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.

U.S. Silica spokesman Michael Lawson said about 600 gallons of sulfuric acid leaked Tuesday from the company’s plant in Berkeley Springs. About 300 gallons of caustic soda leaked from a tank adjacent to the sulfuric acid tank.

Caustic soda is used to neutralize the acid, which leaked as workers were transferring it from a 6,000-gallon tank to a smaller tank.

State Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said 600 pounds of the detergent petroleum sulfonate also leaked.

Lawson said the leaks were contained on the property and there no injuries or evacuations. He says the plant resumed operations Wednesday.

Gillenwater said the company is conducting soil samples as a precaution.

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