Lye leaks from tanker spill in Tyler County

SISTERSVILLE – West Virginia 2 near Route 18 was reopened around midnight Wednesday after a tanker truck overturned and spilled a caustic chemical Tuesday afternoon in Tyler County, officials said.

About 1,700 gallons of sodium hydroxide, more commonly called lye, leaked from the Schneider Trucking tanker, causing the road to be closed to traffic, Chief Ben Placer said. The incident occurred at 3:15 p.m.

No one was injured and none of the chemical entered into a source of water, he said. No one was evacuated, Placer said.

Traffic was detoured around the area.

The truck was traveling south on Route 2 near the Sistersville Country Club where driver Michael Hardy of Pennsylvania lost control and overturned. Hardy was cited with failure to maintain control, Pacer said.

The chemical was being hauled from Axiall Corp., formerly PPG in Natrium, which sent a hazardous materials team to assist, Placer said. A team from Momentive in Tyler County also responded to aid in stopping the leak and clean up, he said.

Among agencies responding were the Sistersville Fire Department and EMS, Paden City Police Department, the Department of Highways and the Division of Environmental Protection.

It is unknown if the material entered into a stream, but the Division of Environmental Protection is investigating, spokesman Tom Aluise said. The stream nearby is Cow Hollow Run, he said.

Sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda, is used in solvents and cleaners, floor cleaners and strippers, brick and cement cleaners, drain cleaners, hair straighteners and oven cleaners, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.