Sulfuric acid spilled into Shenango River

Sulfuric acid spilled into Shenango River


Officials in Mercer and Lawrence counties are dealing with a sulfuric acid spill at Wheatland Tube early Thursday.

There was a storage tank containing a 12 percent sulfuric acid solution that ruptured, according to a report from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

“The solution overflowed secondary containment, flowed out of the building and across the parking lot in a storm drain and was discharged into a drainage ditch,” according to the report.

The ditch flows into an unnamed tributary and then to the Shenango River about a quarter mile downstream.

“An estimated 5,000 gallons of the solution was released with an undetermined amount reaching the ditch,” according to the DEP report.

The emergency response team noticed that there were some dead fish where the river and the tributary met, according to the report.

“The next available downstream location was checked; no dead fish were observed and the pH was similar to upstream locations above the impacted area. It was surmised that the dead fish were from the tributary and washed into the Shenango River, and the spill had minimal impact on the Shenango River,” according to the report.

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