Ascend Reports Chemical Release; Unauthorized discharge: NorthEscambia.com

Ascend Performance Materials in Cantonment reported one chemical spill and one unauthorized release, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Projection.

According to Ascend, the manufacturing plant is currently in a turnaround phase in which 90% of the plant will be closed.

On Friday morning, “a drain valve located in cyclohexane dump tanks was found open and releasing cyclohexane into the diked area and was draining to the ground,” an FDEP report said.

Ascend reported that the drain valve was closed, the fire alarm was activated, the area was barricaded and the ditch was secure. The incident lasted less than an hour.

Cyclohexane may be harmful if swallowed or inhaled. It can cause eye and skin irritation, respiratory symptoms, drowsiness or coma at high enough concentrations, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Also on Saturday morning, two cooling towers “overflowed, releasing an unauthorized spill of more than 1,000 gallons to the stormwater outfall,” an FDEP report said. The company blocked drains and stormwater ditches to prevent further spillage into the stormwater outfall.

Photo from NorthEscambia.com file, click to enlarge.