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Sunday, May 28, 2017
Southwest Louisiana ,
(Rick Hickman / American Press)

(Rick Hickman / American Press)

No danger to public after discharge of dye turns water green in Westlake

Last Modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:49 PM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

There is no danger to the public after a discharge of dye appeared Thursday in ditches near the Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex.

Carol Collins, director of public relations, said at about 2 a.m. Thursday the refinery began a hydrostatic test of one of its tanks.

The green water was visible near the railroad tracks on Sampson Street and the surrounding areas.

“The tank, which had been drained of its contents, is being tested for leaks before being brought back into serve,” she said by email. “The procedure is to fill the tank with water and treat it with a fluorescent green dye, which makes its easier to pinpoint leaks and make repairs when necessary.”

She said the biodegradable dye is not harmful to the public or the environment, adding that the color will dissipate within 24-48 hours of discharge.

“Following completion of the test, the water is discharged with pre-approval from (DEQ),” she said.

The public was not notified prior to the discharge. Collins said it is typically not the refinery’s practice to advise the media on what is considered a routine and permitted operation.

“Considering the unusual appearance of this water, we will review our practice of how these events will be communicated in the future,” she said by email. “We made all of the required notifications to local, state and federal agencies in advance of the test.”

Rodney Mallett, spokesman for state Department of Environmental Quality, said all legal permits were obtained by Phillips 66 and confirmed that there is no threat to the public.

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