New Details: Chemical spill causes big problem in Thomas Co. - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New Details: Chemical spill causes big problem in Thomas Co.

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

THOMASVILLE,  GA (WALB) - Lab results from that chemical spill in Thomas county are in officials say they are no longer treating it as a hazardous spill.

Test results show that the liquid that leaked from a couple of transformers that were being hauled away for scrap metal had extremely low levels of PCB, so low that they are treating the clean up as just an oil spill.

The Farmer's market reopened a couple hours ago, and crews are working now to finish cleaning up the mess and removing the sand they placed on the spills.

Fire officials say no one was ever in any danger. They expect to have the clean up complete this afternoon at the Circle C mobile home park.

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Seven hundred gallons of hazardous chemicals leaked from transformers being hauled off as scrap metal.

Monday's cleanup is on highways, county roads, a parking lot and even a mobile home park. Officials say no one is in immediate danger because they covered most of the large chemical spills with sand, but they're still waiting on lab results that will tell them the chemical's potency, and potential health hazard.  

officials say Interstate Warehouse contracted two men to haul off three large transformers the company had for more than 20 years. But inside the transformers was a hazardous liquid called PCB or Polychlorinated Biphenyls- a liquid that covered more than four miles of Thomas county when the transformers started leaking.

"The spill has been contained, precautionary measures have been taken there is no immediate danger," said Wade Burnette, Code Enforcement Officer.

County crews immediately called the Environmental Protection Division in Albany. They covered the spills with sand and sent off a sample of the chemical to test it's potency and potential hazard to the community.

"The sample will tell us the concentration of the PCBs in the fluid that's been leaked in the soil and on the highways," said Chris Jones, Thomas Co. Fire Chief.

William Lurry, the man hauling the transformers on his trailer, was cited by city and county law enforcement for an unsecure load.

The warehouse company was cited by Code Enforcement's environmental heath division for illegal disposal of hazardous waste.

The spill originated at the Circle C mobile home park.

Code enforcers believe the contractors stopped at their residence at the mobile home park on Summerhill Road with the transformers, where the leak began.

Parts of the park remain taped off tonight, along with the farmers market and the parking lot at Interstate Warehouse.

Officials are waiting on sample results to determine what steps to take next.

Depending on it's concentration, contact with PCB can cause burns to skin and eyes. It can also produce vapors that cause dizziness or suffocation.

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