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Matlack Facing Fine Over Chemical Spill

November 12, 1999

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Delaware-based hazardous materials hauler Matlack could face a $50,000 fine after one of its tankers spilled 100 gallons of a poisonous chemical at a Louisiana rest area.

Vinyl pyroolidone, also known as vinyl pyrol, leaked from the underside of the tanker truck early in the morning last Tuesday in the parking lot of a rest area off I-55. The chemical produces toxic fumes as it evaporates.
According to the Associated Press, the truck driver called Matlack after he discovered the spill. By the time state police arrived on the scene about two hours after the spill, the company had already cleaned up the chemical.
But state police say state and local officials were not notified about the spill, as is required by law. They proposed fining Matlack $25,000 on an alleged violation of willfully failing to report a hazardous material incident and another $25,000 for alleged reckless handling of hazardous materials.
It wasn't clear whether the driver realized the tanker was leaking as he drove down the highway, or if he discovered it after pulling into the rest area. The driver, Leonides Miranda, was charged with a misdemeanor charge of reckless handling of a hazardous material.
When contacted Friday, Jim Humphrys, a Matlack spokesman, said the company had no comment on the situation.

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