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SB County Fire

Chemical Leaked into Las Flores Creek

Hazmat Crews Cleaning Up Mildly Toxic, Mildly Flammable Substance


Ten barrels of liquid material called sulfolane was leaked at the Exxon-owned Popco Oil and Gas Facility into Las Flores Creek near El Capitan Canyon, according to a statement from the County Fire Department. Popco staff has reportedly declared that the leak does not pose any threat to humans and that it happened as a result of a malfunctioning gasket. At the time County Fire spokesman Capt. Eli Iskow sent out a statement about the leak, hazmat crews were traveling to the site to assist clean up. Las Flores Creek ultimately feeds into the ocean, but Iskow could not verify whether the sulfolane itself had been carried all the way to the ocean.

Sulfolane, used in chemical processes as an extractive distillation solvent to strip hydrogen sulfide gas from other gases, is neither especially toxic not especially flammable, Iskow said.

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