ITC chemical leak forces closures of River Road, La. 1

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

PORT ALLEN – A chemical leak at Intercontinental Terminals Co. forced the closure of parts of River Road and La. 1 on Monday.

Lighting struck the plant at approximately 3 p.m. recommending a voluntary shelter-in-place for downtown Baton Rouge issued by the Louisiana State Police due to the direction of the wind.

The chemical Butadiene, a flammable gas, was released in a vapor cloud above the plant.

Hazmat crews manually shut down the leaking valve and officials reported the leak had been sealed at approximately 6 p.m.

The recommended shelter-in-place was lifted and Department of Environmental Quality officials did not detect a presence of the chemical in Baton Rouge.

ITC is located at 2449 N River Rd. and the leak shut down River Road from Lafiton to U.S. 190. La. 1 was also shut down temporarily.

State police say the lightning strike hit a vacuum release valve and a small vapor cloud of Butadiene was released.

All air traffic was restricted over the plant and nearby plants were notified to be on standby for possible evacuations.

No one was injured and there was no evacuation.

ExxonMobil owns ITC. With approximately 12,757,800 barrels in 239 tanks, ITC stores all kinds of petrochemical liquids and gases, as well as fuel oil, bunker oil and distillates. It has facilities in Port Allen, Deer Park, Texas and Antwerp, Belgium.