NEW INFO: PCS Fined In October Ammonia Leak

There is more information about why PCS Phosphate was cited and fined by state regulators after an October ammonia leak.

The State Labor Department fined PCS Phosphate's parent company for an accident last fall that injured 17 workers. Potash Corporation was given nine serious citations and fined $30,400 by the state. The state says 8,000 pounds of ammonia escaped after the accident in Aurora.

WITN News has obtained the citations which outline several violations the labor department said it found at the plant. They say PCS failed to correct deficiencies in the ammonia offloading arm. The state says threads were worn which resulted in the coupling coming apart and releasing the ammonia.

The company was also cited for not having established inspection criteria for the equipment, not property labeling ammonia lines and the plant's evacuation voice alert system was "unintelligible in all locations within buildings on the plant site."

Ten PCS employees and seven contractors were sent to the hospital after an ammonia leak at the Aurora plant in October. At the time, PCS said the leak was stopped and the ammonia was contained on the plant site. The immediate areas around the leak and areas downwind were evacuated.

The state says PCS contested the citations, so a state review commission now has jurisdiction of the case.

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  • by think about it Location: Chocowinity on May 17, 2010 at 08:36 AM
    I know people that were affected by the amonia leak. 2 were air lifted to Pitt. This has done damage to them. People passed out from lack of oxygen. And PCS don't even care that they were injured. It is suppose to back to work as usual.
  • by Karen Location: Aurora on Apr 27, 2010 at 03:23 PM
    I have lived in Aurora for over 40 years with the majority being spent at Hickory Point just down the road from PCS. From everything I have seen they really have their act together over there. They have one of the best if not the best safety records in our state. They also have an outstanding environmental record and I have heard from friends who are employees say that the two most important things discussed at their plant is safety and the environment. I encourage county residents to come to the Fossil Festival in Aurora and learn more about this company and take a tour. From everything I see, hear and read they seem to really be a great company. I have never had an issue with anything and I live a couple of miles away. Oh and as for Billy in Choco, you might want to point your finger upstream to Raleigh and other towns that really create your river issues. Fishing sure is good off my pier here, come on down we"ll have a beer together.
  • by Billy Location: Choco on Apr 26, 2010 at 05:40 AM
    Everybody defends PCS that works there, since well paying jobs are scarce, but nobody pollutes more, just ask anyone that spends time on the water near Aurora. I won't let me my kids swim in the Pamlico thanks to them and agricultural run off. Phosphorous is in extreme demand, but at what cost to our people and environment? Not to mention the millions of gallons of water a day they pull out the aquifers we ALL use for our water supply.
  • by To Croaker Location: ENC on Apr 23, 2010 at 03:55 PM
    Croaker, they do more for safety than any other plant I go in, I have been in all kinds of plants from here to Texas. They are constantly building and rebuilding. All the times I have been in there, and I was just there last week, not one time have I seen a superviser waliking behind anyone with a gun to their head. People work there on their on free will. Yes it is a hazardous place to work, but you know that going in. If you don't like it "STAY OUT". Like I said, they are tougher on safety than I think they sould be, but that just proves they are trying. If you want them to close do yjis, don't brush you teeth any more and stop eating. Thats just two things that we get from there. They make fertalize for our crops, and phophorous is used in our toothpaste. Ltes see how long you last.
  • by croaker Location: chocowinity on Apr 22, 2010 at 07:39 PM
    the word out at pcs has been 3 people had been injured . what a cover up. 3o,400 dollar is a small sum compared to dealing with air pollution ,water pollution ,sulfur , ammonia, acids, coal dust , cilica , asbestos , lead paint ,and many many more cancerous substances. also bad working condition such as burns, coroded structures like i beams falling, if youve been down there you know half of everything is about to fall down except new the plants and osha and msha walk around with there eyes closed and pocket open evedently.all this from day to day at pcs for 35yrs then they retire and live a year and pass away. this company makes millions an hr. this company needs to be shut down and its sad to say that there are no jobs that pay as good [but not good enough comparing to longterm illnesses or injury in areas around beaufort,craven, pamlico . those people deserve better than this . does anyone care for people over money and politics anymore .

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