Response to spill shows training need

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry A North Warren Volunteer firefighter walks past the point where a sulfuric acid spill started on Route 62 in North Warren in late June.

An after-action review of a sulfuric acid spill on Route 62 in late June revealed a need for additional training.

A tanker truck leaked acid on roadways in the City of Warren and North Warren on its way to New York state, resulting in traffic delays and precautionary measures.

The truck was stopped in New York.

That the material was sulfuric acid was considered good news by those responding as initial reports indicated that hydrochloric acid was involved.

Public Safety Director Ken McCorrison said on Wednesday that the review was held at the Conewango Township offices. “We need to put on some training and include the municipalities,” he said.

City and Conewango Township crews dealt with the spills.

In the City of Warren, crews used absorbent material provided by Koebley Towing.

Conewango Township workers dumped loads of dirt on the outside northbound lane of Route 62 to absorb the spill.

“It would have been beneficial if municipal DPW workers had some hazardous materials training,” McCorrison said. “(We are) getting those scheduled.”

A need for training in the area of incident command was also revealed in the response.

“When we have large hazardous materials incidents, it’s not uncommon to call a municipality” for material like sand or dirt, he said.

“To have those operators understand how to” recognize chemicals, he said, is a “good idea.”

The sulfuric acid did not pose a significant airborne threat, although the smell could be detected from a short distance. The acid was soaking into the pavement where it was spilled.


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