Air, Water Tests OK After Chemical Fire

Cause of fire still under investigation

Monday, Nov 19, 2012  |  Updated 2:07 PM CDT
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The Environmental Protection Agency say they have found no trace of hazardous air pollutants after a large fire at a chemical company in Garland last Friday.

Ben Russell, NBC 5 News

The Environmental Protection Agency say they have found no trace of hazardous air pollutants after a large fire at a chemical company in Garland last Friday.

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The Environmental Protection Agency say they have found no trace of hazardous air pollutants after a large fire at a chemical company in Garland last Friday.

Dave Bary, public information officer for the EPA, said they conducted air monitoring downwind of residential areas west and southwest of Nexeo Solutions, during and after the fire, and detected no air pollutants present. 

The Garland Fire Department confirms the air quality is safe and that a nearby creek showed only trace amounts of motor oil and methanol.  Officials said the small amounts do not pose a public health threat, but they are being cleaned up by an environmental cleanup crew.  The creek should be clean by Tuesday.

Most employees of Nexeo have not yet been allowed back inside the facility, except for those assisting with cleanup operations.

Nexeo released the following statement Monday morning: 

“This morning, we continue to work with the appropriate local, state and federal agencies to fully investigate and understand the cause of Friday's fire so that we can prevent a similar incident in the future as well as ensure the safety of our employees and the surrounding community. The health and safety of our employees and those in surrounding communities has always been and will remain our top concern. The sections of the facility that manage our plastics, composites, and environmental services businesses were not impacted by the fire and operations there continue unabated. The area in which the incident occurred has been cordoned off until investigators can evaluate the scene to determine the cause.”

 The facility was a distribution center for methanol, a flammable liquid used to make plastics, piant and fuel for cars, as well as toluene, a solvent used in nail polish and glue.  Methanol can be poisonous if ingested.

By Saturday afternoon, things were back to business as usual in the area.

An official cause of the fire has not yet been determined, fire officials said. Nexeo Solutions is based out of Houston.

NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.

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