Non-essential businesses within a half mile of a plastics plant in southeast New York have been ordered to evacuate after a hazardous chemical spill Tuesday morning, local media report.
The emergency occurred at SABIC Innovative Plastics in Selkirk, a suburb of the state capital, Albany. At about 6 a.m., a safety valve on a parked railroad tank car opened releasing styrene monomer, a known carcinogen that serves as a precursor to polystyrene.
Authorities advise residents who live within one mile of the plastics plant to shelter-in-place with doors and windows closed and air conditioning off. Emergency crews will come to the resident’s home if evacuation becomes necessary.
A press release issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo states that the release of the hazardous chemical has been stopped.
“While this is an evolving situation, it is currently under control, and we will continue coordinating with local officials and mobilize any resources necessary to protect the health and safety of New Yorkers in the affected area,” Cuomo said.