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MDEQ investigating chemical leak from Picayune business

Image courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality/Facebook.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is investigating a chemical leak that took place at Heritage Plastics in Picayune on Friday, July 29, causing two individuals to seek medical attention.

Friday morning, Pearl River County Emergency Operations Center (PRC EOC) employees were notified about a chemical being released from a business in Picayune’s Industrial Park after two employees of an adjacent business began to suffer from respiratory pain.

According to PRC EOC Director Shawn Wise, the chemical is described as a dry material called magnesium silicate.

Adam Bennett with Dignity Memorial claims that the magnesium silicate covered the building in which he works and caused both himself and one of his coworkers to suffer from respiratory issues.

Both were treated at a local hospital and have recovered, per Bennett.

MDEQ was contacted with a report of the incident. An investigation determined the chemical came from Heritage Plastics, but it is still unclear how the chemical was released. Wise said that MDEQ responded to determine the most efficient way to dispose of the substance.

MDEQ is continuing its investigation into the incident and has assigned two teams to the case, one to monitor the air and another to clean up the substance.

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