Firefighters identified the source of an overwhelming odor detected Thursday evening in a Toledo, Ohio, neighborhood as a leaking railcar at a chemical plant.
Several residential structures in the area of Western Avenue and Corinth Street reported an odor of a chemical nature. The Toledo Fire & Rescue Hazmat Team members along with Toledo Environmental Services conducted air monitoring of multiple residences and acquired water samples from the adjacent combined sewer system for chemical analysis.
Toledo Fire and Rescue Department eventuall identified the odor as chemical leaking from a rail car at Global Chemical Resources. The company's web site describes itself as a low-cost provider of chemical for industrial use.
The leaking material inside the car was styrene, used in manufacturing plastics and rubber. Health problems associated with exposure include balance problems, trouble concentrating and slowed reaction time.
With guidance from State of Ohio EPA representatives on scene, TFRD deployed several large diameter hoses to flush the sewers in and around the surrounding neighborhood. Additional meter readings were taken and it was determined that no immediate danger or hazard existed and the incident was closed approximately 2 hours after the initial 9-1-1 call.
Toledo Fire & Rescue-Special Operations Bureau has been in contact with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) throughout the morning. The EPA will begin conducting testing and remediation of an industrial site adjacent to the area of Western Avenue and Corinth Street. The operation will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. on November 6th, 2020. Due to the unknown magnitude of the incident the length of time to complete the operation remains fluid.
At this time, members of the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department Special Operations Bureau remain in contact with the EPA and will continue to monitor the situation. The EPA will have contractors on site and in the area to conduct continuous air and water quality monitoring. No immediate danger to the public currently exists. During the ground excavation phase of the clean-up, an increase in the presence of chemical odor may occur. The EPA will notify Toledo Fire & Rescue regarding any issues pertaining to public safety and the appropriate emergency response will be initiated.
Updates regarding this incident will be provided when they become available.