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Small ammonia leak reported at Dyno Nobel

Dyno Nobel reported the inadvertent release of ammonia from its Deer Island plant in the early morning of Sunday, April 27.

The fertilizer manufacturer informed Columbia River Fire & Rescue of the leak, which fire district officials and plant manager Lorne Clark characterized as minor.

Clark said the ammonia released was a “very, very small amount” over a “very short time.” He declined to provide more details, citing an ongoing examination of the incident by Dyno Nobel.

“There’s still an ongoing investigation about that,” said Clark. “It was a small, minor release.”

Ron Youngberg, CRF&R division chief, said the leak was small enough that Dyno Nobel was not actually required to report it.

“This one was a non-reportable, but they reported it anyway,” Youngberg said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines a release of 100 lbs or more of ammonia as a “reportable quantity.” At that point, Youngberg said, notification of the fire district is mandatory.

The call to CRF&R came in at 5:52 a.m. Sunday, according to a log released by Chief Jay Tappan.

Clark said there were no injuries as a result of the release, and there was never any danger to the public.

Both Clark and Youngberg said they believe the ammonia came from a relief valve at the facility.

In 2008 and 2010, much larger releases of ammonia were attributed to the Deer Island plant. Some 448 pounds of ammonia leaked in 2008, while almost 24.6 tons of ammonia were released in 2010. Dyno Nobel was fined for not immediately reporting the 2008 release.