Expert Review of EPA Chemical Accident Investigation Report, Terra Industries Inc., Nitrogen Fertilizer Facility, January 1999   [open pdf - 371KB]

"This document presents the comments and recommendations of five expert independent reviewers, with whom EPA contracted to examine an EPA Chemical Accident Investigation Report, 'Terra Industries, Inc. Nitrogen Fertilizer Facility, Port Neal, Iowa.' The EPA investigation report was written by an investigation team at its Region VII office in Kansas City and published in January 1996. […]on December 13, 1994, an explosion occurred in the ammonium nitrate plant at the Terra International, Inc., Port Neal Complex. Four persons were killed as a direct result of the explosion, and 18 were injured and required hospitalization. The explosion resulted in the release of approximately 5,700 tons of anhydrous ammonia to the air and secondary containment, approximately 25,000 gallons of nitric acid to the ground and lined chemical ditches and sumps, and a large volume of liquid ammonium nitrate solution into secondary containment. Off site ammonia releases continued for approximately six days following the explosion and drifted several miles. Chemicals released as a result of the explosion have resulted in extensive environmental contamination including groundwater under the facility. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region VII was directed by EPA Headquarters to conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the explosion and to develop recommendations that would help prevent similar occurrences in ammonium nitrate production facilities in the future. A report released by the Agency on January 23, 1996 contains conclusions reached by the EPA chemical accident investigation team regarding the cause of the explosion at the Terra International, Inc., Port Neal Complex and recommendations for prevention of future similar occurrences." This document is a review of the original report, which is also in the HSDL collection.

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