GEISMAR — Workers at the Rubicon facility in Ascension Parish were able to contain a leak of hydrochloric acid early Friday afternoon, parish Homeland Security officials said.
Rick Webre, the director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said emergency workers were preparing to close the intersection of La. 73 and La. 75, or River Road, along the Mississippi River when air monitoring showed there was no risk to the public.
The highways were never closed and remained open Friday afternoon, he said.
Webre said the acid leaked around noon Friday from a gasket on a storage container that is inside a contained unit at the Rubicon plant.
Webre said workers were able to neutralize the leak with soda ash. No injuries were reported.
Rubicon is a joint venture of Huntsman and Chemtura corporations. The plant is located on 81 acres just downriver from the La. 73/La.75 intersection along River Road.
Editor's note: This story was changed on Saturday, July 29, to correct the name of the acid leaked, which was hydrochloric acid, not hydroflouric acid. Also soda ash was used to neutralize the leak, not silver ash.