Saturday, January 13, 2024

Transportation Chemical Incidents – Week of 1-4-24

Reporting Background

I have been reporting on chemical incidents for quite some time. For the most part those are fixed site chemical incidents, but they have included a fair number of transportation related incidents. Unfortunately, those reports have been sporadic, since I have been relying on various news organizations as the source of information.

I recently came across a more consistent and reliable source of information, DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA). They maintain an online database of transportation related chemical incidents that have been reported to the agency. There is a little bit of lag time before the incidents get entered. Today, for instance, the latest data is from January 11th. Fortunately, this is a searchable database, so I searched for incidents in the 7-day period ending the 11th, which is where I get the ‘Week of 1-4-24’.

There are 41 columns of information, so for these (hopefully) weekly posts I will be abstracting the information that provides a summary of the state of chemical transportation incidents for the week. I expect that I will be making changes to this reporting format as we see a variety of incidents. If there is a specific incident that catches my interest, I would expect that it would get its’ own post.

Incidents Summary

Number of incidents – 30 (29 highway, 1 air)

Serious incidents – 0     (Bulk release, injuries, deaths, major artery closed)

Largest container involved – 55-gallon steel drum (furfuryl alcohol, about 1 cup leaked),

Largest amount spilled – 3-gallons (sodium hydroxide solution)

Most interesting chemical - Hydrogen peroxide and peroxyacetic acid mixtures, stabilized with acids, water, and not more than 5 percent peroxyacetic acid. This is a water treatment chemical and disinfectant. This was involved in four separate incidents from four separate shippers. The largest shipping container was a 1-gallon container, four to a box. The amount released in each case was less than 1-gallon. Sounds straight forward until you look at the Cameo Page for the product.

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