DEQ reacts to Air Liquide chemical fire

POSTED: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 6:45pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 6:49pm

The Department of Environmental Quality says they've been working with state and federal agencies to make sure accidents don't happen.

Yesterday's incident in Port Allen was the third in the area in just the last two months.

A spokesman for DEQ says despite all the incidents, air quality around the plants is safe.

Rodney Mallet says all of the emergency procedures have worked at Westlake Chemical and Air Liquide. He says it's when the procedures don't work that cause a problem.

“What you are concerned about is when these emergency procedures do not work,” stated Mallet. “A great example of that is the BP oil spill - when the rig fell down, it had a blowout preventer that was supposed to stop the oil from coming out, but it didn't and had a terrible environmental disaster. That's not what's happening in all these cases.”

Mallet went on to say OSHA is responsible for making sure companies are up to date on their emergency procedures.

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