Chemical Plant Fire and Potential Impact on Supply Chain Disruptions
Last Updated: 1/18/2023
A large fire broke out at a Carus Chemical Company plant in LaSalle, IL during the morning of Wednesday, January 11. This facility produces the following chemicals that are used for water and wastewater treatment: phosphate-based corrosion control chemicals (e.g., blended phosphates, dipotassium orthophosphate, sodium polyphosphate, zinc orthophosphate), potassium permanganate, and sodium permanganate.
U.S. EPA will continue to monitor this situation. This page will be updated as the situation develops.
1/17 Update: Carus has released a statement noting that additional details on potential impacts to its permanganate lines will be forthcoming and that it does not anticipate significant impacts to its production or deliveries of phosphate chemicals.
1/18 Update: Carus has informed its customers that it is declaring force majeure for its potassium permanganate and sodium permanganate products for approximately 90 days.
Site Profile - La Salle Chemical Plant Fire - EPA OSC Response (Updates from U.S. EPA’s Region 5 On-Scene Coordinator on EPA’s activities at the site)
Potential Impact on Water/Wastewater System Supply Chains
Aside from the Carus chemical facility in LaSalle, IL, there are other domestic producers of phosphate-based corrosion control chemicals, such as Innophos, ICL Specialty Products, and Hawkins Chemical Company. The percent of the market impacted by the damage to this facility is not available at this time but will be updated when the information becomes available.
The Carus facility in LaSalle is the only producer of potassium permanganate and sodium permanganate in the Western Hemisphere. While the U.S. does import potassium permanganate from India and China (primarily from India), most domestic demand is met by production from this facility. The primary use of potassium and sodium permanganate in the U.S. is for water treatment, accounting for more than 50% of domestic consumption.
Water and wastewater systems that receive chemicals that are produced at the Carus facility in LaSalle may experience supply chain disruptions, and the domestic market for these chemicals will likely experience challenges until the lost production capacity is restored.
How to Prepare for Potential Supply Chain Disruptions
Contact your primary supplier(s) for chemicals that may be impacted by this incident. Determine whether the company’s operations are impacted by the Carus plant fire. If their operations are impacted, emphasize the importance of consistent deliveries of chemicals for your system to maintain operations.
Contact alternate suppliers. If your primary supplier’s operations are impacted by the Carus plant fire, use the Chemical Suppliers and Manufacturers Locator Tool or the Search for NSF Certified Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals to identify alternate suppliers in your region. Contact the companies, emphasize the importance of consistent deliveries of critical treatment chemicals for your system to maintain operations, and discuss the possibility of the companies providing support if your system’s primary supplier is unable to satisfy your system’s needs.
Identify mutual aid and assistance opportunities. Join your Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) and contact other mutual aid networks and nearby water/wastewater systems directly to discuss arrangements for receiving assistance in the event of a supply chain disruption.
Access EPA resources. Visit https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/water-and-wastewater-sector-supply-chain-resilience to access resources your system can use to prepare for, or respond to, a potential supply chain disruption.
Published by the EPA