Explosion occurs at Florida chemical facility

Article by Amanda Doyle

AN explosion occurred at a chemical facility in Florida, US, on 8 September in a storage area for an isopropyl alcohol-based solution.

The explosion occurred at the FAR Chemical facility in Palm Bay at around 10:30 local time. It occurred at a material storage pad containing flammable materials and the fire then spread to an adjacent building, according to a statement from the company. The Palm Bay Fire Department reported that the explosion occurred in an area storing 30–40 barrels, each containing 227 L of an isopropyl alcohol-based solution.

There were no injuries and the fire was contained within an hour. While a large plume of smoke was visible, hazmat teams said that it was non-toxic.

The facility produces a range of chemical compounds including pharmaceutical reagents, and advanced polymers and catalysts.

According to FAR Chemical, the plant will remain closed, and cleanup will begin once it is safe to do so. “We are cooperating fully with all local and state regulatory authorities. FAR Chemical is committed to safe operations and following the cleanup efforts will investigate the incident to identify the root cause and address any findings once the information is available.”

In November 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era law designed to improve safety at chemical plants.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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