Thursday, September 22, 2016

A chemical caused the Jerome transfer station to be shut down after fumes made employees nauseous

Jerome transfer station closed | Chemical fumes makes employees nauseous

By Jess Knight |
Posted: Tue 4:02 PM, Sep 20, 2016 |
Updated: Tue 10:16 PM, Sep 20, 2016

JEROME, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - A chemical caused the Jerome transfer station to be shut down after fumes made employees nauseous Tuesday afternoon.

At about 3:35 p.m. Tuesday, the Jerome Fire Department responded to a report of a liquid that had been dumped at the Gap Transfer Station in Jerome about an hour before that was changing consistency and caused employees to become nauseous.

Authorities were unsure of what the substance was as of about 3:50 p.m. but classified it as an "unacceptable waste dump."

As of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Battalion Chief Brooks of Twin Falls Fire Department said the chemical had characteristics of ammonia.

Fire Chief Donald Utt of the First Segregation Fire District of Eden and Hazelton told Idaho's First News that the contaminated dump apparently came from American Disposal.

Fire Chief Utt also said that the contamination came from a dairyman.

According to Fire Chief Utt, American Disposal allegedly could smell that the load was contaminated, but that they dumped it anyways.

A little after 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Twin Falls hazmat team arrived at the Transfer Station to assess the scene.

At around 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Jerome Rural Fire Department entered the scene with equipment for the hazmat team to use, such as self breathing apparatuses, in the event that the team needed to investigate the chemical.

As of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Battalion Chief Mitchell Brooks of the Twin Falls Fire Department said that the hazmat team entered the station to try and identify the chemical.

As of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Battalion Chief Brooks says the hazmat team isolated the chemical to the trailer only.

At that time, Battalion Chief Brooks told Idaho's First News that the chemical was no longer a threat to personnel or the environment.

He said the chemical will be taken to a hazardous waste facility in the next day or two.

The facility is located at 1178 Highway 25 in Jerome County. Officials have closed the facility for safety reasons.