Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Large LNG Explosion Displaces Hundreds in Washington

Energy

Nearly 1,000 area residents and agricultural workers were displaced Monday following a liquefied natural gas (LNG) explosion at a plant near the Washington-Oregon border.

According to the Tri-City Herald, hazardous materials experts believe the Monday morning explosion at Northwest Pipeline caused the slow leak of cold LNG from a 14.6-million-gallon storage tank that was struck by shrapnel. While a statement from Williams Partners, owner of the Plymouth, WA plant, states that the majority of the evacuees were allow to return to their homes by 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, the Herald's report indicates that officials have yet to end the evacuation.

Highway and rail line traffic also was shut down near the Columbia River.

“This is considered a large leak,” said Joe Lusignan, a Benton County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Nearly 1,000 area residents and employees were evacuated Monday after a natural gas explosion took place at a Plymouth, WA plant. Video screenshot: Tri-City Herald.

 

Capt. Jeff Ripley of the area's fire district said the natural gas vapors could have exploded if they were mixed with the right amount of oxygen, atmosphere and an ignition source. That sort of explosion would pack the power kill anybody within a radius of up to three-quarters of a mile. The gas is stored at negative 260 degrees.

 

Hazardous material experts have been assessing information gathered by a Washington State Patrol robot and helicopter that were sent into the plant Monday afternoon. The cause has yet to be determined.

"We believe that only natural gas was released and it evaporated into the atmosphere," Williams Partners said earlier in the day. "There is no hazardous vapor drifting toward residents in the area. The tanks involved were about one-third full of liquefied natural gas.

"Once it is safe to return to the plant, we will begin a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident."

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission will also investigate the incident. The Commission last evaluated the facility in November—a "clean inspection," according to David Lykken, the commission’s director of pipeline safety, who said there were no violations.

According to The Associated Press, the facility provides supplemental gas when demand rises for a 4,000-mile pipeline that extends from the Canadian border to southern Utah.

Just last week, an LNG terminal at Coos Bay, OR received federal approval. The terminal would be supplied by the proposed 235-mile-long Pacific Connector pipeline, crossing public and private land in southern Oregon to connect to existing pipelines from British Columbia to California.

——–

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Feds Greenlight LNG Exports From Controversial Jordan Cove Project in Oregon

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Anderson Community Group. Left to right, Caroline Laur, Anita Foust, the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, and Bill Compton, came together to fight for environmental justice in their community. Anderson Community Group

By Isabella Garcia

On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.

Read More Show Less
Berber woman cooks traditional flatbread using an earthen oven in her mud-walled village home located near the historic village of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco, Africa on Jan. 4, 2016. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. /NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Jason Flatt

The world's Indigenous Peoples face severe and disproportionate rates of food insecurity. While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization.

Read More Show Less
Danny Choo / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Olivia Sullivan

One of the many unfortunate outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the quick and obvious increase in single-use plastic products. After COVID-19 arrived in the United States, many grocery stores prohibited customers from using reusable bags, coffee shops banned reusable mugs, and takeout food with plastic forks and knives became the new normal.

Read More Show Less
A mostly empty 110 freeway toward downtown Los Angeles, California on April 28, 2020. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The shelter in place orders that brought clean skies to some of the world's most polluted cities and saw greenhouse gas emissions plummet were just a temporary relief that provided an illusory benefit to the long-term consequences of the climate crisis. According to new research, the COVID-19 lockdowns will have a "neglible" impact on global warming, as Newshub in New Zealand reported.

Read More Show Less
Centrosaurus apertus was a plant-eating, single-horned dinosaur that lived 76 to 77 million years ago. Sergey Krasovskiy / Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

Scientists have discovered and diagnosed the first instance of malignant cancer in a dinosaur, and they did so by using modern medical techniques. They published their results earlier this week in The Lancet Oncology.

Read More Show Less
Parks keep people happy in times of global crisis, economic shutdown and public anger. NPS

By Joe Roman and Taylor Ricketts

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the "happiness" of people's words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The ubiquity of guns and bullets poses environmental risks. Contaminants in bullets include lead, copper, zinc, antimony and mercury. gorancakmazovic / iStock / Getty Images Plus

New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that she will attempt to dismantle the National Rifle Association (NRA), arguing that years of corruption and mismanagement warrant the dissolution of the activist organization, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less