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No injuries reported after Nederland chemical leak, city to remove trailer soon to minimize emissions

Officials say placing bags of activated charcoal (not Match Light) and vinegar in bowls throughout your home can help to cut down on the odor.

NEDERLAND, Texas — Crews are working to remove a transport trailer from Nederland Tank Wash after a hazardous chemical leak and will move into the 'remediation' process to get rid of the rotten egg odor next.  

The trailer removal phase of the operation is set to be completed by the end of the day Wednesday or Thursday.

The transport trailer leak was first reported on Sunday but began Saturday afternoon. Officials say all leaks have since been contained. The leaking product, known as Lubrizol 1389, produced low levels of hydrogen sulfide gas, according to the city. Lubrizol 1389 is a mineral oil blend used as a lubricant additive.

"Due to the unknown amount of odor saturation in the sump and the facility, it is possible that odor may escape the site while the necessary remediation is completed," city manager Chris Duque said in a statement Wednesday morning. "Once the trailer is removed and the sump and facility are remediated, no odors will be emanating from the incident site."

According to Duque, emergency crews are controlling the vapor with the use of environmental scrubbing canisters and air monitoring is happening around the clock.  

On Tuesday morning, officials were able to secure the leaking transport trailer.

Officials hope the trailer will be completely removed from the Nederland Tank Wash site and the city by the end of the day Wednesday or Thursday according to a statement from Duque. 

After it's removed, it will be necessary to remediate the site for odor removal. 

The odor has primarily been a problem for those living in Beauxart Gardens. Tank Wash has set up a helpline for those with questions and hear concerns. Callers will also be able to file reports. The helpline phone number is (888) 442-4206

If you left your home due to the leak and went to a hotel, share that information with the helpline number and keep receipts in case reimbursement becomes an option. 

"To remove the odor from your home, representatives from Lubrizol, who is the manufacturer of the product, recommend placing bags of activated charcoal (not Match Light) and vinegar in bowls throughout the house or other enclosures," Duque said in a statement on Tuesday. "Both items can be purchased at hardware and large variety stores such as Walmart and Target. Lubrizol representatives also note that residents can use Febreze to help control and remove the odor."

People have reported mild headaches, nausea and eye irritation due to the rotten egg odor. The city reported Wednesday afternoon that no injuries have been reported.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and other agencies have been monitoring air quality in the community since approximately 1 a.m. on Sunday, according to a news release.  The City of Nederland reports that concentration levels “do not represent a public health risk to the community,” the release said based on the monitoring.  The City also says “air monitoring for potential compounds...continues to be conducted 24 hours a day.”  

When 12News reached out to Nederland Tank Wash for an interview, the company said they will not comment at this time. 

The city says the intensity of the odor will vary throughout the next few days. 

From a City of Nederland news releaseWednesday morning: 

Emergency response crews are still on scene monitoring a transport trailer at the Nederland Tank Wash. The product is a mineral oil blend, known as Lubrizol 1389 that is used as a lubricant additive. The product was producing low levels of hydrogen sulfide gas. Emergency crews controlled the vapor with the use of environmental scrubbing cannisters, and air monitoring is ongoing around the clock. Yesterday, the operation progressed to the next phase, and significant progress occurred with all leaks being contained. The next phase of the operation is scheduled to be completed by the end of today or tomorrow – the trailer being removed from Nederland Tank Wash and Nederland. After it is removed, it will be necessary to remediate the Tank Wash site for odor removal. Due to the unknown amount of odor saturation in the sump and the facility, it is possible that odor may escape the site while the necessary remediation is completed. Once the trailer is removed and the sump and facility are remediated, no odors will be emanating from the incident site. Beauxart Garden Road remains closed to traffic. The Nederland Tank Wash set up a special citizen helpline that residents will be able to call for updates about the cleanup of that company’s container truck. The helpline phone number is (888) 442-4206. This hotline will be repurposed for damage claims, but this is still being worked on. The intensity and location of the odor will vary throughout the day as wind speeds and direction change. Febreze, non-match light charcoal and vinegar are recommended approaches to mitigating the odor in your home, vehicle, or business. We anticipate the end of the operational period for this incident to be defined by later this afternoon.

From a City of Nederland press release sent Wednesday afternoon...

On Saturday, December 11, 2021, at approximately 5:00 p.m., an odor was detected from a customer’s trailer (Pulido Transport) that was located at our Nederland Tank Yard at 7744 Beauxart Garden Road, Nederland, Texas.  

Nederland Tank Wash quickly moved the trailer into a contained area and took measures to minimize emissions from the trailer.  Nederland Tank Wash has been working with the Nederland Fire Department through a joint Incident Command Center.  Fortunately, no injuries have been reported. 

The source of the odors was from a mineral oil blend in the Pulido Transport trailer.  The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, with support from CTEH, has been monitoring air quality in the community since approximately 1:00 a.m. on Sunday.  Based on this monitoring, the City of Nederland reports that concentration levels “do not represent a public health risk to the community.”  The City of Nederland has also indicated that “air monitoring for potential compounds . . . continues to be conducted 24 hours a day.”  

Nederland Tank Wash has been part of the Nederland community for over 50 years.  We want to apologize for the inconvenience to residents in the vicinity.  Nederland Tank Wash has established a community hotline (888-442-4206) to receive information from the community.

At this time, the investigation of the incident is ongoing. 

We greatly appreciate the work and assistance of the Nederland Fire and Police Departments, the Port Neches Fire Department, the Groves Fire Department, the Beaumont Fire Department, the Port Arthur Fire HazMat Team, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other response teams.

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