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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

HazMat incident in Remus

An occasional, powerful scent of ammonia spread across the town of Remus Sunday night after a line carrying the corrosive chemical ruptured inside the Leprino Foods cheese plant. The plant's production manager explained that the hazardous chemical is used in the cheese factory as a refrigerant -- the same way it's been used in commercial refrigeration systems for more than a century. Much of the leak was contained inside the factory, but some of the vapors were vented to the outside, where firefighters neutralized the chemical with a massive spray of water.

No one was hurt, but state highway M-66 was closed through the Mecosta County community. The BP station adjacent to the plant was shut while firefighters in breathing apparatus sprayed massive amounts of water on the plant and the ammonia leaking from inside.

A hazardous materials team
from Leprino foods was on
the scene to start the cleanup
Sunday night. Authorities said
they were concerned about the
effect the hundreds of
thousands of gallons of
ammonia-tainted water headed
for the town's sewer system.


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