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Articles Posted in North Carolina Environmental Law

On Monday December 30, 2013, the residents of a small North Dakota town called Casselton were forced from their homes following a fiery train accident.  The accident, which happened around 2:30 pm, involved a BNSF Railway Co. train carrying crude oil.  According to reports, the train derailed causing multiple cars to catch fire and explode.

Casselton, a town of about 2,400 residents, underwent a precautionary evacuation that lasted into Tuesday, December 31, 2013.  Complicating matters were temperatures below zero which certainly made it difficult for the residents of Casselton.  Residents of Casselton reported that the explosions from the accident shook their homes and businesses for hours.

The derailment happened even as concerns are growing over the safety of shipping significant quantities of crude oil by rail.  Fortunately, in this accident there were not the same catastrophic effects of a similar accident in Ontario this past summer. In the Ontario accident, forty-seven people died following the derailment of a train carrying crude oil.

A serious carbon monoxide situation at a plant in Lincoln County, North Carolina has resulted in at least twenty seven employees being treated for exposure to carbon monoxide.

The RW Garcia Plant reported a leak of carbon monoxide on Monday afternoon and the facility was evacuated.  However, twenty seven employees and one emergency responder were taken to local hospitals for exposure to the toxic gas.

According to reports, Charlotte’s HazMat team is investigating to determine the source of the leak and the plant remains closed.

A serious leak of carbon monoxide gas at a plant in Lincoln County on Monday has resulted in the hospitalization of 28 people including one emergency responder.

The leak occurred at the RW Garcia Corp. Plant at around 1:00 pm.  It is not clear what caused the leak at this time.  However, in many of these cases, gas leaks are the result of either poor maintenance practices or the failure of a valve or pipe fitting.  Hopefully, state OSHA inspectors will determine what went wrong here.

Diamond Pet Foods has been identified as the cause of multiple sicknesses due to cat and dog food manufactured at its facility in Gaston, South Carolina.

The number of sick people is increasing despite a recall of the contaminated products.  The sick are suffering from Salmonella Infantis and several have been hospitalized.  More are expected to become sick as the products have a shelf life of one year.

Click here for more on this story.

I recently came across a very interesting article regarding injuries caused by swimming pool chemicals.  According to a study published in the journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, improper handling of pool chemicals resulted in over 28,000 injuries from 2002 to 2008.  The study included those injured in North Carolina.

Apparently, the most common cause of injury came from mixing incompatible products, chemical spills and splashes and a lack of protective equipment.  Researchers gathered data from the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

Click here for more on this interesting story.

On Saturday afternoon, a chemical plant in Hudson, North Carolina blew up causes an evacuation of approximately 750 nearby residents.  The plant, located in Caldwell County, North Carolina, is operated by Chemical Coatings, Inc.  It is not clear what caused the explosion.  However, it took multiple first responders several hours to control the blaze.

Click here for more.

If you or your family have been affected by this explosion and evacuation, call Hendren & Malone today.  The lawyers at Hendren & Malone have brought cases for evacuation related damages in multiple jurisdictions.  We were the attorneys for the residents of Apex, North Carolina who were evacuated in 2006 following an explosion at the EQ facility.  That case resulted in a $7.85 million settlement for the residents in a class action.

In an interesting case, an Alabama chicken plant has been fined $52k for an August ammonia leak that sent 150 people to the hospital.  Anhydrous ammonia, which is used a refrigerant at poultry processing plant, apparently leaked from a pipe on the roof of the plant.  The plant is run by Millard Refrigerated Services of Omaha, Nebraska.  Click here for more.

This is a interesting and troubling case.  North Carolina is one of the leading poultry producers in the United States and ammonia refrigeration systems are likely used in virtually every plant.  Just a few weeks ago, there was a significant ammonia leak from a turkey processing plant in Raeford, North Carolina.  The lawyers at Hendren & Malone are currently evaluating claims relating to the Raeford incident.

As reported in an excellent story by the Raleigh News and Observer, a neighborhood near Fuquay Varina is restling with a contaminated water issue.  The neighborhood, called Northgate, has well water which has been found to contain high levels of tricholoethylene, a chemical compound used as an industrial solvent and known to be a carcinogen or cancer agent. The contamination apparently is coming from a former mill now owned by Guilford Mills. Click here for the story.

As reported by Eyewitness News 9, four residents of GlenCare of Mount Olive, North Carolina have died and it appears that hepatitis B is to blame.  At least one other resident has tested positive.  Investigators are trying to pinpoint the source and cause of the spread.  For more on this story, click here and here

As reported by Facing South, the Environmental Protection Agency has begun holding hearings on coal ash regulations.  According to reports, 39 additional sites in 21 states where coal ash has contaminated water supplies with arsenic and other toxic metals. That brings the total number of coal ash damage cases that have been documented to date to by regulators and independent watchdogs to 137 sites in 34 states.  Click here for more.

If you have an environmental law question, call Mike Malone at Hendren & Malone.

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