The main U.S. Postal Service processing facility for mail in North Texas remains closed. It will not reopen until safety crews can guarantee there are no lingering effects from a mercury spill earlier this week.
The spill happened early Tuesday at the facility in Coppell. Employees said about four gallons of mercury leaked from a container at the plant, which processes hundreds of thousands of pieces of mail each day. Hazmat teams responded to clean up the spill. USPS said no one was hurt.
Environmental safety crews have been on scene ever since, to make sure the building is safe. Employees were sent home following the spill Tuesday, and have since been moved to mail processing centers in Dallas and Fort Worth.
The United States Postal Service issued a statement, which read, in part:
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“Postal management immediately implemented its established emergency preparedness procedures for such an event, which includes working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The hazardous material was contained and all employees are safe. Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily suspending operations at the facility for further testing at this time."
No firm timeline was given for reopening. The Postal Service said it is working to ensure as little disruption in mail delivery as possible.
“We are working hard to minimize any service disruptions to our customers; however, it is possible some temporary delays could occur,” the statement continued. “We have a dedicated workforce which is focused on keeping the mail moving and serving our customers. All mail is safe and is kept secured throughout the handling process, so customers expecting mail or packages can be assured their items will be delivered as soon as possible.”