Chlorine dioxide leak from GP's Perry, Florida, Buckeye pulp mill, soon to be renamed Foley Cellulose Mill, causes no injuries, thought to have resulted from earlier power outage; company will investigate cause of leak, amount of gas released

LOS ANGELES , May 29, 2014 () – An unknown quantity of chlorine dioxide gas leaked from Georgia-Pacific LLC’s (GP) Buckeye pulp mill in Perry, Florida, on May 28, but no injuries were reported, according to a WCTV-2 news report the same day.

This is the second accidental gas release in a week, with a prior one on May 22 caused by a pipe gasket leak, which was repaired, said Scott Mixon, the mill’s public affairs manager. No one was hurt in that earlier incident, he said.

The company will investigate the May 28 leak to determine how much gas was released and the cause of the leak, said Mixon, noting that the company would reveal details soon after they are known, WCTV-2 reported.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is aware of the incident and handling it according to its policies, said an OSHA spokesperson.

The leak appears to have been caused by a power outage at 3 a.m. that day, which “set off a series of events and equipment failures,” said Tiffany Cowie, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The mill was acquired by GP in its takeover of Buckeye Technologies Inc. last year, according to Industry Intelligence Inc.’s archives. It will soon be renamed the Foley Cellulose Mill, Mixon told WCTV-2.

The May 28 chlorine dioxide leak occurred at about 8:45 a.m. and the five or six employees who were evacuated were allowed to return to work at 11:08 a.m., after the leak was contained, according to Buckeye officials.

The gas dissipated quickly into the air and did not cause any impact, including any release of chemicals into the ground or water, said Cowie, reported WCTV-2.

The primary source of this article is WCTV-2, Tallahassee, Florida, on May 28, 2014. Click here to view full version of primary source's original article.

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