Fertilizer plant reported release to Columbia River Fire & Rescue officials

by: MARK MILLER - The Dyno Nobel plant in Deer Island. The facility is one of several heavy industrial sites in south Columbia County.Almost a month after a similar leak April 27, the Dyno Nobel fertilizer plant in Deer Island reported the release of a small amount of ammonia Monday, May 26.

Columbia River Fire & Rescue Chief Jay Tappan said the release was small and contained, so it did not raise alarm bells at his agency.

“I don’t think we even responded to it,” said Tappan, explaining, “We don’t get too concerned as long as it’s reported ... and it’s all contained.”

Plant manager Lorne Clark did not return a call requesting comment on Monday’s ammonia release.

Dyno Nobel is required by federal law to report the release of 100 lbs or more of ammonia. Tappan said he believed Monday’s release was less than that amount.

The plant had two large ammonia leaks in 2008 and 2010 — the latter of which saw nearly 24.6 tons of the gaseous chemical released.

The leak last month was not of a reportable quantity, Clark and Columbia River Fire & Rescue officials told the Spotlight. Tappan said he was unaware of any calls from members of the public expressing concern about Monday’s release.

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