Archive for Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Crews clean up tanker leak at east Lawrence warehouse

Crews worked Wednesday afternoon to clean up a leak of an agricultural product from a tanker at an east Lawrence warehouse.

October 14, 2009


Crews worked Wednesday afternoon to clean up a leak of an agricultural product from a tanker at an east Lawrence warehouse.

A Lawrence Douglas County Fire Medical spokeswoman said there was no danger to the public.

Crews were dispatched around 10 a.m. to a warehouse for MagnaGro International Inc., 600 E. 23rd St., after a reported leak of 200 to 250 gallons of the material from the tanker truck.

“The leak was stopped prior to our arrival. It is currently contained in a ditch,” division chief Eve Tolefree said. “Members of the fire department, city utilities department and Kansas Department of Health and Environment are now working too mitigate a plan just for the rest of the cleanup. There are no current hazards to the public at this time.”

Tolefree said the incident is being treated as an accident.

Fire officials described the material as a liquid concentrated fertilizer product. However, in a company statement, MagnaGro officials described the material as a soil conditioner instead of a fertilizer. The statement said it was a small spill that started when a hose blew off of the tanker.

“It is a nonhazardous material. There is no danger to anyone as far as contact or swallowing or anything,” according to the statement.

MagnaGro officials declined to comment further Wednesday.

Tom Winn, a KDHE geologist at the scene, described the material as a fertilizer blend.

“It needs to be secured before it gets to a waterway,” Winn said.

The company said it hired Olathe-based Haz Mat Response Inc. to clean up the material Wednesday afternoon. According to news reports, MagnaGro hired the same company to clean up about 100 gallons of an oily sludge that spilled in March from a company truck in the 2200 block of Delaware Street.

According to court records, the company’s owner, Raymond Sawyer, pleaded guilty earlier this year in federal court to a misdemeanor of negligent discharge into a publicly owned wastewater treatment works program. MagnaGro pleaded guilty to knowingly discharging waste from a fertilizer operation into the city’s sewer system in March 2001.

Officials with the KDHE and city in 2001 had ordered the company to stop.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson in June sentenced Sawyer to five years of probation. He and the company are also required to pay a $240,000 fine related to the criminal charges in the 2001 incident.


somebodynew 8 years, 6 months ago

With this guy's history, why is this place still in operation?? They seem to try to skirt all the regulations, because if I remember correctly, when he actually got caught and in court, there was a past history of him doing things and not being caught. I think this place needs to be shut down myself.

lounger 8 years, 6 months ago

This is BullS*it!! They need to be shut down. Fined in 2001 and still having accidents. Come on city hall do something here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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