Incident at Chemifloc Ltd, Smithstown Industrial Estate, Shannon, Co. Clare

Date released: Dec 21 2012

Update 27 May 2014

An EPA inspector visited the site on the morning of Friday 21 December 2013 to verify whether the incident had had any environmental impact and to assist the primary response agencies as necessary.

The EPA Inspector’s report established that chlorine gas emissions from the incident extended beyond the licence boundary, affecting neighboring business premises.  Subsequent modeling of the gas release indicated that there was a potential for health impacts due to the incident.  However, apart from Chemifloc employees affected, there were no reports of illness due to the gas release. 

The Agency’s findings indicated that Chemifloc was non-compliant with Conditions 5.1 & 5.5 of their licence, and the company was instructed to carry out a number of corrective actions in relation to appropriate management and segregation of materials on the site.  Follow-up EPA audit and site inspections during 2013 confirmed that the corrective actions had been completed and that other environmental improvements had been implemented to ensure that the necessary management practices are in place to eliminate the causes of this type of incident and to protect the environment.

 

 

The EPA was notified by phone at 16:55 on Thursday 20th December by Chemifloc Ltd, Smithstown Industrial Estate, Shannon, Co. Clare, Licence No P0076-01, of an incident which occurred at their premises at 16:35. The incident involved an uncontrolled release of vapour containing chlorine-based substances which occurred during the loading of a product onto a road tanker at the facility. A number of staff of the company were taken to hospital and several neighbouring business premises were evacuated on a precautionary basis as a result of the incident.

The licensee also notified the Clare County Fire Services, Clare County Council and the Health & Safety Authority (HSA). The Agency has been in close contact with these Agencies since the incident occurred, and understands that Clare Fire Service declared the incident to be under control at approximately 20:00.

Based on information to hand at this time, the EPA is satisfied that there is no ongoing release or risk of environmental pollution as a result of the incident. An EPA inspector visited the site on Friday morning to verify whether the incident had had any environmental impact and to assist the primary response agencies as necessary.

EPA inspectors will prepare a full report on the incident in due course, after which the Agency will consider further enforcement action. The priority for the EPA is to ensure that the necessary management practices are in place to eliminate the causes of this type of incident and to protect the environment.