Division of Spill Prevention and Response

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Lemon Creek Propane Tanks
Incident Description
Location Lemon Creek area of Juneau , AK
Product/Quantity An undetermined amount of Ethyl Mercaptan was released. Ethyl Mercaptan (Mercaptan) is a petroleum product. It is added to propane at the rate of 1 pound of Mercaptan to 10,000 gallons of propane to provide an odor to the propane for detection of leaks. Mercaptan is an irritant that can cause respiratory problems, headaches, nausea and vomiting. A portion of the mercaptan in propane can settle out as a liquid in a propane tank in long term service. The mercaptan can remain in the tank even if the tank is open to the atmosphere.
Cause Thirteen empty propane tanks were transported from the Lemon Creek area to the barge loading facility at Channel Drive via Old Glacier Highway . The tanks were to be included in a scrap metal shipment to the Seattle , WA area. Some of the propane tanks were uncapped during transport, allowing residual mercaptan vapors to be released to the atmosphere
Time/Date of Spill November 29, 2004 , exact time unknown. Reports to Juneau Police Department (JPD) began 7:50 a.m. The release was reported to ADEC by City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) Public Works Department at approximately 8:05 A.M.
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