Dow explosion’s impact on nearby water still not clear


Nearly two weeks after the explosion at the Dow Chemical facility in Plaquemine, a preliminary incident report from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality finds that the blast may have contaminated nearby water, but the potential impact on area residents is still not clear.

Here is the latest from the Louisiana Illuminator on the July 14 incident, in which a fire broke out and several explosions erupted at the facility’s glycol unit:

The very short preliminary incident report is so far the only official documentation LDEQ has made available to the public.

Dow’s corporate communications staff has repeatedly assured the public that air monitoring has detected nothing hazardous to the community but has said nothing about water sampling.

LDEQ inspector Miranda Brengartner notes in the report that water sampling one day after the fire showed ethylene oxide levels at 39 parts per million but it was then only 0.1 ppm when the sampling was retested at a different on-site laboratory. Ethylene oxide is used in consumer and industrial products and is dangerous to people if they are exposed to excessive amounts.

LDEQ spokesperson Gregory Langley says Dow is still conducting engineering analysis to determine what chemicals were released and in what quantity.

Read the full story from Louisiana Illuminator.