Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC issues order requiring Homalite to stop unsafe
storage practices of extremely hazardous chemical
DOVER (Aug. 22, 2013) – DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara has issued an order that requires the Homalite Division of Brandywine Investment Group, Inc. to comply with Delaware’s laws and regulations governing extremely hazardous substances and accidental release prevention.
Homalite operates a manufacturing facility at 11 Brookside Drive in Wilmington that stores a chemical known as diisopropyl peroxydicarbonate (IPP). Delaware’s accidental release prevention laws and regulation define IPP as an extremely hazardous chemical because it is unstable at temperatures above minus four degrees Fahrenheit (-4oF). On September 7, 2012, IPP stored at Homalite’s Wilmington location destroyed part of a building when the freezer used to store the chemical failed, and IPP spontaneously and violently decomposed, causing an explosion.
Delaware’s accidental release prevention laws and regulation require facilities that store extremely hazardous chemicals such as IPP, which is used industrially for polymerizing plastics, to follow applicable industry standards to ensure safe storage and handling of these chemicals onsite. Standards require these chemicals to be stored in explosion-proof freezers with continuous temperature monitoring and high-temperature alarms.
DNREC conducted compliance assessments at Homalite on December 11, 2012 and July 10, 2013. Both compliance assessments revealed that the IPP was not properly stored at the facility in violation of both Delaware’s Extremely Hazardous Substances Risk Management Act and the Accidental Release Prevention Regulation’s “General Duty clause” that requires Homalite to operate a safe facility that anticipates and minimizes the chances of catastrophic events such as the September 7, 2012 explosion.
DNREC issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) on May 29, 2013 for improper storage of IPP, and gave Homalite 21 days to correct the violation. The deadline was not met, and at the July 10 compliance assessment, Homalite provided a document that indicated an explosion-proof freezer ordered by the company July 1 would not be delivered for another 14-16 weeks.
The order requires Homalite to have the IPP stored at the facility in an explosion-proof freezer by October 1, 2013; otherwise, Homalite must cease and desist from storing or handling organic peroxide chemicals, including IPP, and must properly dispose of all remaining IPP at that time.
The order can be found on the DNREC website at: http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Info/Pages/SecOrders_Enforcement.aspx
Vol. 41, No. 324