No further investigation into railyard chemical spill

16:00, Jan 31 2013

Authorities say no further investigation into a chemical spill which saw New Plymouth homes and businesses evacuated on Wednesday is necessary.

The toxic chemical dimethylamine leaked from a 200 litre drum in a container on the back of a truck at the KiwiRail Freight Centre yesterday and saw New Plymouth's Colson Rd closed and evacuated while the spill was contained.

Dow AgroSciences New Plymouth operations site/production leader Brigitte McNames confirmed the chemical belonged to Dow, but said it was in the process of being transported to the New Plymouth site, not manufactured there as first thought.

"The leak was a very minor quantity. We worked with local authorities and developed a plan to safely cleanup the spill which we carried out and the situation was all clear within a few hours."

Seven fire brigades, police and the Taranaki Regional Council were all called to assist with the containment procedures.

"While the spill was very minor, all necessary precautions were taken and the correct procedures were followed to safely clean up the spill and ensure no impact to those involved in the emergency response, the surrounding community, or the environment."

Ms McNames said the remaining 79 drums of the chemical in the container were safely transported to the Dow AgroSciences site where they were put in secure storage ready to be used for manufacturing.

New Plymouth fire deputy area commander John Nicholls said they would not be investigating the cause of the leak.

A spokeswoman from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said they had not opened an active investigation into the spill, but would work with Dow and monitor the situation.


Taranaki Daily News