Chemical cleanup continues on Seaway Road

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Cleanup crews have been working around the clock since Tuesday morning to cleanup the chemicals that leaked from Channel Chemical Corporation.

Sometime between 11:30pm Monday night and 6:30am Tuesday, there was an equipment failure at Channel Chemical Corporation. As a result, anywhere from 500 to 1000 gallons of corrosive liquid leaked out into the plant's storm water ditch, which runs along Seaway Road.

Earl Etheridge with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said there are two phases of cleanup underway. One phase is cleanup of the storm water ditch that runs along Seaway Road and Etheridge said that part of the cleanup is expected to be completed sometime Wednesday.

The other phase is cleanup inside the plant and he said that is expected to go on for the next several days. Crews will continue to work around the clock until it is all complete and the MDEQ will be on site overseeing the cleanup until it is finished.

The chemical spill on Seaway Road will "minimal impact" on the environment according to Etheridge.

Channel Chemical said after the leak was discovered, an emergency response crew was called and the ditch was immediately dammed.

"This is a corrosive liquid that was released from an area of the plant currently being updated. Though we contained most of it, some did wash into the storm water ditch with the overnight rains," explained Tim Reid, Director of Operations for the plant. "There is no hazard to the public and we are working on cleaning it up as fast as we can."

Channel Chemical has hired a private contractor to clean up the mess. Seaway Road was closed Tuesday morning after the leak was discovered.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.