Firefighters Respond to Ammonia Leak

On Tuesday,  Sept. 12 around 2:30 p.m.  a Tier 1 haz mat response was ordered by Revere Fire Department Deputy Chief Glen Rich as a result of a report of an ammonia leak at the former NECCO plant.

An incident command structure was formed with the following agencies. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Boston, EPA, DEP, Mass. State Hazardous Materials Team, NCR, NECCO representatives as well as Chief Christopher Bright who assumed command of the incident.

It was determined that Anhydrous Ammonia had leaked into the facility’s cooling water system leaving about 20,000 gallons of contaminated water in the system . With air quality on the exterior being monitored the State Haz Mat team made entry to sample and investigate the situation inside the building. At this time the response was upgraded to a Tier ll.

The mixture of Anhydrous Ammonia and water under pressure in the copper pipes presented the possibility of the copper pipes failing in a short time which presented the need of a quick solution. The team members devised a plan to remove enough product from the system so that it was no longer under pressure buying time to remove the rest of the product at a more comfortable and safe timeframe. No readings of ammonia vapors were detected outside the building. The entire process took a couple of days in order to remove the rest of the product.
This remains an open and ongoing incident.

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