On Wednesday, May 15, at around 12:40 p.m. local time, a truck carrying a Nitric and Hydrofluoric acid mixture leaked onto the ground at Precision Castparts’ facility in Milwaukie. Employees were evacuated and Clackamas Fire and Portland and Gresham HazMat teams were on scene. No injuries have been reported.
DEQ has been assessing the site. There are no issues with air quality. There was some release to Precision Castparts’ stormwater system, which discharges to Johnson Creek. Precision Castparts treated and recirculated the water with caustic to bring the pH up. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted spot checks on margins and backwaters along Johnson Creek, but no dead fish were observed. DEQ instructed Precision Castparts to collect samples of the discharge water at the outfall and we expect results within a week or two.
On Thursday, May 16, a DEQ Water Quality specialist conducted a site inspection and evaluated the stormwater system at Precision Castparts. He determined there should be no environmental harm, as long as staff followed the established stormwater pollution control plan. He is waiting on an official report from Precision Castparts to understand exactly how they responded to the incident.
The release was apparently the result of a failure on a sampling port on a chamber in the tanker, but investigation into the cause is ongoing.
This update received from Daniel Newberry, Executive Director, Johnson Creek Watershed Council.