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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