A vinyl chloride (VCM) gas release at the Westlake Chemical facility in Geismar, La. Friday, March 30 was enough to call out Hazmat and block neighboring highways.
The chemical is very dangerous and said to primarily cause liver damage with enough exposure. Road blocks were set up at Hwy. 73 and Hwy. 30, and River Road. The VCM scare was caused by a power outage at the plant.
The issue was brought under control almost within the hour. Director of the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Rick Webre said that when something like this happens it is better to be overcautious.
St. Amant Vol. Fire Department Chief James LeBlanc was also on the scene at Westlake, along with the Geismar Fire department. LeBlanc provided basically the same information as Webre. Westlake has not replied to our inquiry.