It could be several days before a chemical spill is completely cleaned up

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It could be several days before local and federal officials can finish cleaning up a chemical spill in West Charlotte and figure out what caused it.

Capt. Rob Brisley with the Charlotte Fire Department said it happened at the Dana Trucking Terminal on Tarheel Road Tuesday morning.

A private industrial cleanup company, Carolina Environmental Response Team, joined the fire department's hazardous-materials team on site.

"The focus here with this spill, the leaking product, was to stop it or contain it where it was," Brisley said.

Brisley said the fire department received a 911 call about a chemical leaking from a tanker truck.

He said the chemical is acetic acid. At the scene it gave off a vinegar-like smell.

The fire department also brought in its Decontamination Unit 1 to clean off firefighters as they left.

Brisley said the department determined that chemicals did leak into at least one nearby stream. He said officials are trying to figure out how much damage may have been caused there.

"Anytime you have a product or something that goes into the creek, we as the public just need to stay away," Brisley said.

He said the fire department will work with the EPA to assess the damage and figure out how much liquid leaked out as well as how it happened. Now that fire officials have been able to contain the leak, the private company will work on the actual cleanup of the facility.

The facility is in an industrial area where other businesses appeared closed and Brisley said no one was evacuated or injured.

He said the chemicals are causing no immediate danger.

"There's no concern to any businesses nearby," he said. "The community is safe."