berville residents file lawsuit against PCS Nitrogen

Tryve Brackin

Dumas & Assoc. Law Firm, representing several Iberville Parish residents, filed a lawsuit Oct. 23 in the 18th Judicial District Court against PCS Nitrogen of Geismar. The parish residents are claiming a sulfuric acid leak Oct. 9 at the plant facility endangered the health and safety of the general public.

PCS Nitrogen officials reported a storage tank at the Geismar fertilizer producer was leaking the acid into the atmosphere during the morning of Oct. 9. Immediately following the report of the incident law enforcement personnel ordered residents in Ascension and Iberville Parishes near the plant location to shelter in place until a cloud of the acid dissipated. General wind direction at the time of the leakage was determined to be moving into the St. Gabriel and Geismar area as well as across the Mississippi River and into the general White Castle and Donaldsonville areas. Roadways in those areas were blocked for a period of time.

State Police officials reported no injuries as a result of the leak.

Sulfuric acid is a hazardous substance that can inhibit breathing and cause irritation to the eyes, throat, and skin, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.