Sunday, March 26, 2023

March 26: DEP Provides Update On 8,100 Gallon Spill From A Bucks County Chemical Plant Affecting The Delaware River

At 4:00 p.m. on March 26, the Department of Environmental Protection provided an update on a chemical spill affecting the Delaware River from a Bucks County chemical plant.


On Friday, March 24, 2023, at approximately 11:30 PM the Department of Environmental Protection’s emergency response team responded to a release of approximately 8,100 gallons of acrylic latex polymer that was released by a chemical processing plant and an unknown amount has entered the Delaware River. 

The incident occurred at Trinseo Altuglas Facility in Bristol, Bucks County. Downstream and nearby systems were alerted because of the tidal flow of the Delaware.


The DEP is working closely with utility companies; Aqua Pennsylvania, Lower Bucks Joint Municipal Authority, Philadelphia Water Department, and New Jersey American, city officials, and other government agencies to ensure that the safety of drinking water is not compromised. 

Ongoing water sampling is being conducted at various locations. Contaminants have not been detected at drinking water intakes at this time. 

There have not been any signs of fish or wildlife impacts. 

The Philadelphia Water Department, out of an abundance of caution, notified the public in the customer service area that they may wish not to drink or cook with tap water. 

“Since the first hours after the incident, the Department of Environmental Protection has been at the facility where the spill originated and will be staying until there is no longer a threat to those impacted in Bucks and Philadelphia counties,” said DEP Acting Secretary Rich Negrin. “We are working closely with our partners to monitor the spread of the contaminants and we will hold the responsible party accountable.” 

Officials from each agency: DEP, EPA, US Coast Guard, and the PA Fish and Boat Commission are working to determine if there are any risks to the public or wildlife. 

Please check with your local water supplier to determine if you should take any precautions. 

DEP and other agencies will continue to monitor the situation and provide the latest updates as more information becomes available.  

As of early morning March 26, 2023, no additional product was leaving the facility and entering the Delaware River. 

DEP staff will remain on-site to investigate the cause and impacts of the spill. 


-- Inquirer: Philly Mayor: Water Safe To Drink After Bucks County Chemical Spill: ‘Threat Has Passed’

-- WHYY: Philly Officials Say Water Is Safe After Bucks County Chemical Spill, How Do We Know That?

-- Inquirer: Philly Water Safe To Drink Thru 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, But Monitoring Of Chemical Spill Continues 

-- Courier Times: As Toxic Bucks County Spill Cleanup Continues, Tap Water Safe To Drink

-- WHYY: Delaware River Spill: Philadelphia Water Safe To Drink Through Monday Evening, Officials Announce

-- Inquirer: Philly Residents Now Advised Water Is Safe Through Monday Night Following Bucks County Spill 

-- Courier Times: Maps, Timeline Of Bucks County Chemical Spill

-- WHYY: During Chemical Spill Philly Was Unable To Switch To Other Sources Of Water, Here’s Why That Matters

-- Courier Times: Delaware River Chemical Spill Includes Toxin Released In Norfolk Southern Train Derailment, The Latest On The Spill

-- Inquirer: EPA Doesn’t Require Safety Tests For Most Chemicals, Including 3 Spilled Into Delaware River Tributary

-- Inquirer: Bucks County Chemical Plant Involved In Spill Had Other Mishaps Over Last Decade

-- Inquirer - Frank Kummer: Companies Have Discharged Millions Of Pounds Of Toxic Chemicals In Delaware River In Last 5 Years

-- WHYY: Philadelphia Officials Take Heat For Communications Over Water Contamination

-- Inquirer Guest Essay: Philadelphia’s Water Contamination Was A Test Of City’s Response To A Crisis, It Failed

-- Courier Times: Environmentalists Worry Bucks County Chemical Spill Threatens Fish, Plant Life

-- Delaware RiverKeeper March 28 Update On Bucks County Chemical Spill

-- Delaware RiverKeeper Special Video Report On Bucks County Chemical Spill 

-- Delaware RiverKeeper March 31 RiverWatch Video Report

-- Inquirer: Panic, Confusion Fuel Run On Bottled Water In Philly, Even In Areas Unaffected By Chemical Spill

Related Article:

-- Stroud Water Research Center On Bucks County Chemical Spill: We Need To Revisit Source Water Protection, Pollution Prevention Contingency Plans To Protect Our Share Water Resources  [PaEN]

[Posted: March 26, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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