Omaha Chemical Plant Fire Under Investigation

Posted on 6/6/2022 by Lauren Scott

An explosive fire at a chemical facility in downtown Omaha, NE sparked evacuations and community concerns last week. What began as a fire reported at about 7 p.m. on May 30 resulted in a series of explosions, which shot columns of black smoke into the air.

About 50 firefighters rushed to the scene and urged residents near the burning chemical facility to temporarily evacuate as almost 2,400 homes lost power. The fire was successfully contained the following morning, May 31, and then extinguished later that same day.

Although the plant makes chemical sealants and cleaners for concrete issues, no one was at the facility when the fire began, and no injuries were reported. The company last reported to the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy that 89 different chemicals are kept on-site, most of which are flammable.

Chemical reporting played a crucial role in quickly extinguishing this fire. Because firefighters were aware of the chemicals on site, foam and water was used to suppress the fire. Had emergency personnel used carbon dioxide as a fire suppressant, it may have worsened the fire.

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), found at 29 CFR 1910.1200, requires employers to keep a Safety Data Sheet on file for any hazardous chemical to which their employees are, or may be, exposed in the workplace. EPA refers to this Standard in its inventory reporting rules under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). EPA states that if a facility has more than a certain amount of any chemical for which OSHA requires a Safety Data Sheet, then the facility must report this to its community.

Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the blaze. City officials said it would continue to monitor air and water quality and are asking residents to consult a doctor if they are experiencing any dizziness, headaches, or respiratory symptoms.

Convenient, Effective Online EHS Manager Training

Managing site compliance with the many complex EPA programs that affect your business—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to TSCA, EPCRA, CERLCA, and more—is a major challenge. 

The Complete Environmental Regulations online course will prepare you to identify your site's responsibilities under major environmental laws and regulations. This course is ideal for new EHS managers, environmental consultants, and anyone who wants clarity about how complex environmental requirements fit together. 

Or check out these courses on specific EPA programs:
Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online 
Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
Clean Air Act Regulations Online

Tags: chemical reporting, EPA, EPCRA

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

This is a very informative training compared to others. It covers everything I expect to learn and even a lot of new things.

Quatama Jackson

Waste Management Professional

The instructor's energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the subject make the class a great learning experience!

Brian Martinez

Warehouse Operator

I chose Lion's online webinar because it is simple, effective, and easily accessible.

Jeremy Bost

Environmental Health & Safety Technician

Very good. I have always appreciated the way Lion Tech develops, presents and provides training and materials.

John Troy

Environmental Specialist

The course is well thought out and organized in a way that leads to a clearer understanding of the total training.

David Baily

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Very witty instructor, made the long times sitting bearable. One of the few training courses I can say I actually enjoyed.

John Hutchinson

Senior EHS Engineer

The instructor was very very informative, helpful, understandable and pleasant. This course answered many questions I had, being new to this industry.

Frances Mona

Shipping Manager

These are the best commercial course references I have seen (10+ years). Great job!

Ed Grzybowski

EHS & Facility Engineer

Given the choice, I would do all coursework this way. In-person courses go very fast without the opportunity to pause or repeat anything.

Ellen Pelton

Chemical Laboratory Manager

Having the tutorial buttons for additional information was extremely beneficial.

Sharon Ziemek

EHS Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Four key considerations to help you maximize the convenience and quality of your experience with online training.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.