Lowcountry state rep requests meeting with Lanxess plant manager

Lowcountry state rep requests meeting with Lanxess plant manager
A plume of smoke emanates from Lanxess plant last Wednesday.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - In a letter dated Monday, Lowcountry state representative Wendell Gilliard has requested a meeting with Lanxess plant manager Jean-Francois Berthiume.

His request comes five days after a phosphorous leak at the plant caused a temporary shelter-in-place order for nearby residents.

A fire combined with the phosphorous leak caused a large plume of smoke. When the wind shifted around 1:15 a.m. last Wednesday, Charleston fire officials put out a reverse 911 call to residents in the area telling them to secure their windows and doors. The order was lifted around 3:35 a.m.

I-26 was also shut down for a short period of time.

Berthiaume said no employees were injured and there is no concern about long-term impact.

In the letter, Gilliard states he wants a tour of the plant and to discuss his concerns. He added that many of his constituents have reached out to express their concerns over possible exposure to toxic fumes.

Gilliard cited Live 5 News reporting concerning previous citations given to the plant by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

A pending violation notice from OSHA states the company was issued a $3,000 citation for three violations earlier in 2019 which were classified as “serious."

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