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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

AmeriCold Logistics

AmeriCold Logistics cold storage warehouse in Portland, Maine

At approximately 11 a.m. on Friday, January 22, 2010, a mechanical failure occurred at the AmeriCold Logistics cold storage warehouse in Portland, Maine. Employees immediately evacuated the building upon hearing a loud noise, resulting from the cooling tube falling to the floor. This facility stores 8,700 gallon anhydrous ammonia.

The Portland Fire Department responded, performed an initial entry and found a low-lying ammonia vapor cloud inside the building. Maine DEP arrived on-scene and their personnel, along with the AmeriCold responders, performed a Level A entry to evaluate the situation. They found concentrations in excess of 16,000 parts per million (ppm) with a thick vapor cloud. The team observed the failed valve and left the building to develop a response plan.

The fire department evacuated three residential streets and provided city buses for immediate shelter. Over 100 homes were evacuated, with most residents staying with friends or family, while several families housed in the city buses.

EPA On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) Randy Rice was dispatched to the scene to integrate into Unified Command with Portland Fire Department, Maine's Department of Environmental Protection and technical representatives from AmeriCold Logistics.

Location: Portland, ME
Start date:  01/22/2010
End date: 03/18/2010
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

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