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PA EPA CHEM. INVEST. REPORT ON TERRA INDUSTRIES INC. RELEASED

Release Date: 10/15/96
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PA EPA CHEM. INVEST. REPORT ON TERRA INDUSTRIES INC. RELEASED

FOR RELEASE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 1996

EXPERT REVIEW OF EPA CHEMICAL INVESTIGATION REPORT ON TERRA INDUSTRIES INC. RELEASED

EPA today released the report "Expert Review of EPA Chemical Accident Investigation Report, Terra Industries Inc., Nitrogen Fertilizer Facility, Port Neal, Iowa'" (EPA 550-R-96-002). The review was conducted by a panel of five outside experts assembled by EPA to comment on the Agency's report. The review is meant to assure the integrity of the EPA report and to obtain insight into the means of best preventing chemical accidents in the future. The "Chemical Accident Investigation Report on Terra Industries Inc. Nitrogen Fertilizer Facility Port Neal, Iowa," was prepared by EPA Region VII and released in January 1996, which was conducted under authority of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and CERCLA. EPA Region VII conducted an investigation to determine the cause of the explosion at the Terra Industries Inc., Port Neal Complex and to develop recommendations to prevent similar occurrences. The explosion killed four people and injured 18 others. The explosion resulted in the release of approximately 5,700 tons of anhydrous ammonia to the air and secondary containment, approximately 25,000 gallons of nitric acid to the ground and lined chemical ditches and sumps, and a large volume of liquid ammonium nitrate solutions into secondary containment. Off site ammonia releases continued for about six days following the explosion and drifted several miles. Chemicals released as a result of the explosion have resulted in extensive environmental contamination including groundwater under the facility. The expert review of EPA's investigation report was to assess the plausibility of the report's findings based on all evidence collected by the Agency and to make recommendations on procedure, technique and report formulation to improve future Agency accident investigation products. Copies of both reports can be obtained through the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-535-0202. Executive summaries of the EPA Chemical Accident Investigation Report and the Expert Reviewers' Report, together with EPA's response to their recommendations can be read at the Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Homepage located at http://www.epa.gov/swercepp/.

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