DEQ says Clean Harbors had breach during last week's storms

COLFAX, La. (KALB) - A Grant Parish open burn, open detonation facility reported a breach of hundreds of thousands of gallons of containment water during last week’s storms.

(Source: KALB)

Clean Harbors Colfax reported the incident to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality claiming a breach of around 400 thousand gallons of water from a containment vessel on
Mon. Feb 26.

News Channel 5 reached out to DEQ. They said the water is runoff from the company’s burn pad that is stored in a containment vessel. However, DEQ said the containment vessel has not been approved by the agency.

In an email to concerned citizens that was sent to News Channel 5, Clean Harbors said the breach was due to “extensive thunderstorms, wind and heavy rainfall, in excess of 15 inches in a 24 - hour period, during the early morning hours of Feb. 26.”

DEQ said they are investigating why the containment vessel breached and if there are any contaminants in the water. DEQ said when Clean Harbors did their last internal sampling, there was no sign of any contaminants.

“Previous samples show that storm water from the tank did not contain any pollutants or contaminants above Federal and State -regulated limits,” said Phillip Retallick, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs with Clean Harbors Colfax, in an email to concerned citizens. “We’re confident the released water does not pose any risk to human health or the environment.”

DEQ told us the water generally ends up in Bayou Rigolette and into the Red River.

“We take that very seriously,” said Gregory Langley, Press Secretary for DEQ. “We are investigating, when we find out the facts we will take necessary action.”

Clean Harbors Colfax has been under scrutiny from areas residents for several year about potential health hazards the company may pose.

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