Styrene spill causes high­way clo­sure

Sherbrooke Record - - LOCAL NEWS - By Gor­don Lam­bie

High­way 10 east was closed be­tween ex­its 78 and 90 for a large part of the day on Tues­day af­ter an SUV ran into the back of a trans­port track car­ry­ing highly flammable styrene. The clo­sure came into ef­fect at 9:40 a.m. when it was de­ter­mined that a se­cu­rity perime­ter was nec­es­sary around the 8 a.m. ac­ci­dent. Due to the na­ture of the cleanup process, the west­bound lanes were also in­ter­mit­tently closed through­out the day.

Ac­cord­ing to The Sûreté du Québec, the driver of the SUV sus­tained only mi­nor in­juries as a re­sult of the im­pact, but the high­way had to be closed for an in­de­ter­mi­nate amount of time to al­low for cleanup of the haz­ardous liq­uid.

Traf­fic was rerouted by Trans­ports Que­bec and driv­ers were strongly en­cour­aged to avoid the area in or­der to re­duce con­ges­tion. The road had yet to re­open as of press time, al­though a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Trans­ports Que­bec said that lo­cal MTQ and En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry re­sponse teams were ac­tive on site.

Daniel Messier of the en­vi­ron­ment min­istry ex­plained that the styrene spill it­self was quite small and is un­likely to have a se­ri­ous im­pact on the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment. He ex­plained that the cleanup work was long be­cause of the fact that this type of spill, in which the tank of the trans­port truck is punc­tured, re­quires the en­tire con­tent be trans­ferred to a new ve­hi­cle. With a ma­te­rial as dan­ger­ous as styrene, and work­ing as they are on the side of the high­way, the govern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive said that it is im­por­tant that clean-up crews take their time.

“They are work­ing slowly to make sure that it is done right,” Messier said.

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