UPDATE: Crews still cleaning up after chemical leak in Norfolk

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UPDATE, 3:30 p.m. Thursday, August 14, 2014 - Crews remain on scene, working to complete the transfer operation.

The 200-500 block of Indian River Road remains closed. While several business have reopened, three businesses still remain closed on Indian River Road.

Norfolk, Va. -  Crews are on the scene of a Hazmat situation in the 1000 block of Lansing Street.

The road is blocked at Lansing Street and East Indian River Road. One westbound lane is closed in 1000 block of Indian River Road to stage equipment.

The call came in just before 6 a.m. from personnel at Kinder-Morgan saying one of their tanks was leaking.

Units responded at 6:05 a.m. and confirmed that a tank was in fact leaking sodium hydroxide. The tank currently holds approximately 900,000 gallons. A berm surrounds the tank and has contained the leaking product. However, it is still unknown how much has leaked.

While the leak is currently contained, a hazard still remains until the product is removed from the tank. Federal, state and local responders are implementing a plan to transfer the product from the tank.

Kinder-Morgan will be transferring the product from the tank that’s leaking to another tank on site.

Sodium hydroxide is used in the manufacturing of fabric, plastic wrap, paper, and soap. It is the main ingredient in drain and oven cleaners, and is also used in oil refining, hydraulic fracturing, and water treatment.

Three people were on site at Kinder Morgan when the leak was discovered.

No injuries have been reported. There is no direct risk to the Berkeley community at this time.

Coast Guard pollution responders were dispatched to the scene alongside personnel from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Norfolk Fire-Rescue, Norfolk Police Department, City of Chesapeake, City of Portsmouth, City of Virginia Beach, Virginia Port Authority and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess the situation.

The Coast Guard and Norfolk Fire-Rescue have implemented a security zone in the Elizabeth River from the Berkley Bridge to the Campostella Bridge. However, there is no report of the sodium hydroxide in the Elizabeth River.

As a precuation, parts of Colonna Shipyard adjacent to the tank and some other local businesses have been evacuated.

This is a developing story, check back with WTKR.com as more details come in.


  • Go Tides!

    Pop quiz: how many local, state, and federal agencies does it take to “assess a situation”? Yeah, that means millions of your tax dollars got wasted by government employees standing around.

  • The People

    Yeah that sums it up to an extent !! But the 1st responders fire & police were just following protocol. ..kinder morgan need to fork the bill for that !!

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