Alexandria Firefighters Complete Oversight of Sulfuric Acid Leak cleanup at GenOn Plant

Page archived as of November 23, 2015

April 28, 2011 

News Highlights

  • Estimated 1,300 gallons leaked from a Sulfuric Acid Storage Tank.
  • Leak contained within containment basin of the storage tank.
  • Alexandria Hazardous Materials Team determined to be stable with no hazards to residents.
  • Alexandria Hazardous Materials Team remained on scene providing support to private hazardous waste contractor.
  • Alexandria Hazardous Materials Team cleared the GenOn facility at 3:36pm on April 27.

More Information

At 3:36 pm on April 27, Alexandria Hazardous Materials Team Members cleared the GenOn Potomac River Generating Station, leaving a private hazardous waste contractor to perform the final remediation and cleanup from a sulfuric acid spill that occurred earlier that morning.

At 1:53 am on April 27 the Alexandria Hazardous Materials Team responded to the GenOn plant located at 1400 N. Royal Street for a report of a leaking Sulfuric Acid tank.  Units arrived within 5 minutes.  Alexandria City and Arlington County HazMat Team members donned protective equipment, entered site and determined there was no active leak or fumes emitting from the area.  The 15 x 20 containment basin contained an estimated 1,300 gallons of product from the storage tank.  The Team determined there was no hazard to residents by 4:45 am. 

The Arlington County Hazardous Materials Team members were released by mid-morning. Alexandria Hazardous Materials Team members remained at the facility to support a hazardous waste cleanup contractor who removed the spilled product from the containment area.  The cause of the leak remains under investigation at this time.

The City of Alexandria has hundreds of facilities using and producing hazardous materials. It also has all major modes of transportation by which hazardous materials are transported, including by water, neighboring major airport, interstate highway traffic, railroad, and several miles of transportation routes within the city.

The Alexandria Fire Department, having the primary responsibility for response to hazardous materials incidents in the City of Alexandria, prepared for responding to incidents of this nature by establishing a Hazardous Materials Response Team in 1984.  By 1987, the City of Alexandria Hazardous Materials Response Team became an integral part of the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Emergency Services.  In 1994, the Hazardous Materials Response Team expanded with neighboring Arlington County Fire Department through the combining of their personnel and resources with those of Alexandria.

Team members with the Alexandria Hazardous Materials Team include firefighters, medics and fire marshals.  All Hazardous Materials Team members have completed the Hazardous Materials Operations Level Certification and the Technician Level Certification for a minimum of 120 hours of training.  When not responding to hazardous materials emergencies, these personnel are assigned to the various fire and medic companies throughout the City where they perform regular fire,  emergency medical and fire prevention duties daily.

For more information, contact Robert B. Rodriguez, Chief Fire Marshal / Community Services Officer, Alexandria Fire Department, at 703.746.5217 or robert.rodriguez