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DEC probes chlorine leak at Lockport plant

LOCKPORT – The state Department of Environmental Conservation is planning a follow-up inspection in the wake of a chlorine leak Friday morning at Vanchlor, a chemical plant at 555 W. Jackson St.

Fire Chief Patrick K. Brady said a fire crew, dispatched shortly after 5 a.m. because of a report of smoke with a chlorine odor, found nothing amiss at the plant at the time of their arrival, but the firefighters visited the nearby VanDeMark and Twin Lake chemical plants, and found that chlorine detectors had sounded alarms at both locations. Brady said Vanchlor officials told the firefighters that there had been a “condenser burp” at the plant. The city Fire and Police departments called the DEC.

DEC spokeswoman Megan Gollwitzer said the cause of the odor was “a bad seal on a process pump.” The seal was repaired, and the inspection is meant to confirm the leak is sealed, she said.