Chemical Leak Causes Stir in Green River


Hazardous material technicians from the Emery County Sheriff’s Office and firefighters from the Green River Fire Station responded to a HAZMAT leak Friday in Green River.

The leak, coming from containers holding a mixture of Peroxyacetic Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide that were being hauled by a semi truck, was noticed by the truck driver when he inspected his rig early Friday morning after stopping at the West Winds Truck Stop.

The driver realized the chemicals he was carrying posed a threat, and moved the truck away from the truck stop and to a location on Main Street near the golf course.

Emery County Sheriff’s Sergeant Tom Harrison commended the driver for his quick thinking.

“I have to give the driver credit,” Harrison said. “He noticed some dripping coming from the truck at the West Winds. It was pretty good on his part to quickly take it to an area with dirt in a less-public area.”

NutriAg Inc. was shipping the chemicals to Redox Chemical in Burley, Idaho. The chemicals were held in 2.5-gallon containers, four to a box, and stacked on pallets in a refrigerated trailer.

Harrison said the load shifted before the driver reach Green River, which caused at least one of the containers to leak. The Green River firefighters were the first to arrive on scene, and they asked for the assistance of the HAZMAT crew from the Sheriff’s Department.

Harrison said the team, comprised of four HAZMAT techs and one operations officer, arrived and quickly realized that they needed help fixing the trailer’s cooling system.

Harrison said the mixture of chemicals, normally used as a soil compound in farming, could begin to generate heat when it reaches 150 degrees. The mixture could have combusted if it reached 200 degrees, which could have deployed the chemicals into the atmosphere.

In the worst-case scenario, Sheriff’s Deputies would have been forced to evacuate most of Green River.

The responders were able to stabilize the situation until a clean-up team from Northern Utah arrived on the site at 10:30 p.m.

The situation became critical a short time later when the materials began to smolder, but the clean-up crew was able to quickly control the situation.

The materials and truck were removed from the site, and Harrison assured that soil tests conducted on Saturday showed that there was no further threat.

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