Skip to content

Ploysar Corporation; Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

Sarnia, Ontario, Canada | 1985-Dec-19

Initial Notification: On the morning of December 19, 1985, a pump failure at the Polysar Corporation, Ltd., plant in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, caused the release of approximately 7,500 gallons of chemicals into the St. Clair River. The chemicals included a mixture of tert-butyl alcohol, isobutylene dimer, and small concentrations of ammonia and phenol. The mixture, used in a manufacturing process at the plant, is normally sent to an on-site BIOX water treatment plant but, due to the pump failure, was mixed with cooling water and discharged into the river. The diluted liquid had a total organic carbon concentration of less than 1,000 parts per million (ppm). At 1800 on December 19, an additional release of 10,000 gallons of the mixture occurred over a one-hour period. USCG district 9.

Incident Details
Products of concern:Tert-butyl alcohol, isobutylene dimer, ammonia, phenol
Total amount at risk of spill: 17,500 gallons
Latitude (approximate): 42° 59.48′ North
Longitude (approximate): 82° 25.40′ West