DEQ demands timeline on benzene spill
State officials want to know exactly when ExxonMobil Chemical Plant staff knew that the amount of released naphtha, which includes benzene, was much higher than originally reported in the wake of a June 14 spill at the Baton Rouge facility.
The Advocate reports the Department of Environmental Quality issued a compliance order and notice of potential penalty against plant that in part states the facility did not notify the state and other agencies when estimates of a leak amount June 14 substantially changed.
According to the order, a leaking plug at a tank was discovered, and naphtha was released. The next day, it was estimated that 1,364 pounds of material was released.
Company officials said Monday they notified the appropriate agencies of the leak in a timely manner.