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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Lewcott Phenol Release

Lewcott Phenol Release, 86 Providence Street, Millbury, MA

In September 2011, a worker was sprayed with a 98 percent mixture of phenol when he removed the thermocouple on the steel tank during routine maintenance of a 12,000 gallon phenol tank. The pH of phenol was about 5-6. Lewcott quickly initiated an on-site gross decontamination of the individual and the co-worker who came to his rescue. They subsequently were transported to the local hospital, and four others also were taken there with possible inhalation exposure. Lewcott Co. took full responsibility for the incident.

Some 3,000 gallons of phenol was released to secondary containment (concrete berms) at Lewcott Corporation. The leak in the phenol tank was stopped successfully with an inflatable plug; however, a minimum amount of product splashed over the dike initially due to the head pressure in the steel tank. Lewcott's contractor used a vacuum truck to suction the liquid from the secondary containment into drums. The drums then were staged at the scene pending disposal. Several thousand gallons of phenol remain in the tank below the release point.

Location: 86 Providence Street, Millbury, MA
Start date: 09/06/2011
End date: 09/06/2011
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

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