Almost two years after a massive fire, recycler Intercontinental Export Import Inc. has made safety improvements at its site in Parkersburg, W. Va.
At a June 22 appearance in Parkersburg Municipal Court, IEI official Sunny Naik said that the firm is finalizing a contract to repair almost half of the roof of one of the damaged buildings, according to a June 23 article in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. Once the roof is repaired, five nonworking sprinkler systems can be repaired, he added.
Naik and Parkersburg Fire Chief Jason Matthews were appearing in court to address multiple safety citations that had been issued against IEI after the October 2017 fire. The blaze burned for eight days and destroyed almost 90 million pounds of plastic scrap and pellets.
Several citations against IEI were dismissed by Municipal Judge Debra Steed because of the firm's remediation efforts. Several others are pending, while one fine — for less than $200 — was enforced.
In December 2017, state officials approved a plan of corrective action submitted by IEI. That plan covered air monitoring, ash and burned material disposal and construction of a stormwater barrier. Work described in the plan was expected to be completed by mid-2018.
IEI officials initially said that some documents about the contents of the warehouse were destroyed in the fire. The firm later filed more than 500 pages of safety data sheets and other information with the state. An initial list provided included plastics such as glycol-modified PET and several types of nylon.
Shortly after the fire, four other IEI recycling sites in the state were inspected for safety. IEI is part of SirNaik Group, a collection of recycling, scrap and compounding businesses in West Virginia and nearby states.
No employees were in the plant when the fire was reported. No injuries were reported among the more than 100 firefighters who battled the blaze. The site covers 450,000 square feet spread over three buildings, including one massive structure that covers 350,000 square feet.
Naik added at the July 22 meeting that IEI employees will continue to work on cleaning up and clearing material in the building. He also said there are contracted fire watches in place at all buildings without working fire alarms, as required by the state after the initial round of inspections.
One of the buildings damaged in the fire may be demolished, Naik said. Plastic material now stored in the building will be removed while IEI decides what to do with the structure, he added.