A specialty chemical manufacturer with a facility in Ward Hill, MA suffered a chemical fire from a reaction of Sodium Chlorite, a caustic material, within the chemical repack room. The fire activated the building’s water-based fire suppression system and flooded the repack room. Worried that other chemicals located in the repack room would react with the water, the Haverhill Fire Department under the approval of MassDEP, pumped the firefighting waste water to the parking lot. The firefighting waste water ultimately entered a 2-acre wetland adjacent to the parking lot.
SAK Environmental, LLC provided emergency response and risk assessment. Once the fire was extinguished SAK monitored the repack room for hot spots and monitored cleanup. SAK completed a decontamination assessment of the repack room, that included the sampling and testing the floor, walls and working surfaces for pH and monitoring indoor air quality.
SAK was able to show through desktop calculations that the contaminates of concern within the firefighting waste water were a negligible amount compared to the volume of the spill and area of the wetlands. Therefore, SAK was able to reduce the cost of sampling and limit waste disposal to the water remaining in the repack room and materials damaged during the fire. The site was closed out with MassDEP within 60-days of the release.