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Dyno Nobel plant manager leaves post

Fertilizer manufacturer Dyno Nobel announced last week its Deer Island plant manager has been replaced after the former staffer left his position.

Dyno Nobel gave no reason for Greg Godfrey’s departure, but said he left his role, causing management shifts within the large Australia-based company that operates 34 manufacturing facilities.

Lorne Clark, previously plant manager at Dyno Nobel’s Louisiana facility, will replace him.

Both the Deer Island and Louisiana operations are important facilities for the company, having invested millions in upgrades at both plants, according to Dyno Nobel spokeswoman Jodi Morgan.

As a whole, the company not only manufactures fertilizer, but explosives and other chemicals.

Last April, Dyno Nobel, founded in the 19th Century by Alfred Nobel, famous for establishing the Nobel Prizes, announced business was going well at its Deer Island facility, growing its staff by four new operators.

However, recent news related to the local Dyno Nobel facility hasn’t been so positive.

In February, Portland’s Willamette Week newspaper reported on an ongoing criminal investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding an ammonia leak at the Columbia County plant. That Dyno Nobel facility has a history of similar EPA violations.

In its report, Willamette Week quoted DEQ records showing the plant had a power outage on Aug. 29, 2010 that led to a valve being left open when the facility restarted two days later. Nearly 24.6 tons of ammonia was released, 100 times more than during a 2008 leak, which cost the company $17,000 in penalties for not reporting that 448 pounds of the chemical had leaked until 11 hours later.

Godfrey told the Willamette Week that EPA criminal investigators interviewed Dyno Nobel workers on Jan. 23 about the large 2010 ammonia leak.

Dyno Nobel apparently hadn’t noticed that leak until five days after the valve was left open.

Godfrey attested the company had not violated the law and reported the leak when it was detected.