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Officials: Chemical spill at Cathcart Rail in Lynchburg, no health risk to public

The Lynchburg Fire Marshal’s Office has been monitoring a release of a chemical from a holding tank at Cathcart Rail on Hydro Street that has been producing strong noxious odors in the area for the past several weeks, according to the Lynchburg Fire Department.

Officials said on April 3, LFD responded to a call for a chemical smell near downtown, which they tracked back to the business on Hydro Street.

A follow-up visit from the Fire Marshal this past week identified the source as a tank containing about 2200 gallons of ethyl acrylate which is used in the production of resins, plastics, and rubber materials, according to the department.

LFD said the tank has produced a very slow, leak, which is currently contained in the immediate area. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management was notified, as well as the Department of Environmental Quality.

Both are working with the company on the cleanup process which officials said is expected to get underway this week.

Officials said Ethyl acrylate is a flammable liquid with a particularly acrid odor, and while residents in the Rivermont and downtown areas may notice a strong chemical smell, there is no risk to public health from this leak.

The Fire Marshal’s Office will continue to monitor the situation until it is resolved.

Source: WSLS News 10

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