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Dixie Chemical Reports Release at Texas Plant, Evacuates Workers

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Dixie Chemical Co. reported a propylene amine release at its Bayport, Texas, plant earlier today that led to workers being evacuated, according to a message left on a community hotline.

The incident began at 2:20 p.m., when about 200 pounds of propylene amine was accidentally released, Tyler Monzel, director of loss control and sustainability at Dixie Chemical, said on the recorded message.

“At this time the incident isn’t expected to impact the surrounding area,” he said. Plant workers were temporarily evacuated as a precaution while the release was investigated and the all-clear given at 2:40 p.m., Monzel said.

After filling eight product cylinders, an operator inadvertently reversed a vent and fill connections on a ninth cylinder which allowed propylene amine to enter the vent line to the scrubber, the company said in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The operator then moved to block all valves and phosphoric acid that was in the scrubber neutralized much of the propylene amine, the report showed.

“The incident is now safely under control,” Monzel said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Samantha Zee in San Francisco at szee@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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