April 15, 2022: As of 3:30 p.m., the hazardous situation at the Bedford Regional Water Authority (BRWA) has been contained. Several teams have been on site monitoring the air quality of the exterior and interior of the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant to ensure the chlorine gas has been dissipated. Air quality inside and outside of the plant now read 0 parts per million for chlorine gas. BRWA staff are now inside the plant, assessing the situation to ensure proper measures are taken moving forward.
Around 7:40 a.m. the BRWA received a chemical delivery at the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant on Orange Street in Bedford. There was an inadvertent mixture of two chemicals that led to a hazardous material situation in the form of a chlorine gas cloud.
Due to this incident, four people were transported to Bedford Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released. Twelve people were evaluated and treated on the scene. All people have been released from care.
Bedford Police Department went door to door alerting 46 resident homes and 7 businesses this morning to inform them about the situation and suggest they evacuate. Blue Ridge Community Church opened a shelter for anyone needing a place to go. At the time of this release no people had utilized this shelter.
This is an isolated situation at the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant and no water or wastewater services are disrupted. The drinking water system was not impacted, and the water from the potable system is safe to drink.
A hotline has been created for citizens to call with any questions or concerns at 540-587-6060.
This response effort was a united front from the local and regional area of these agencies:
- Bedford County Department of Fire and Rescue
- Bedford Fire Department
- Bedford Police Department
- Bedford Public Works
- Bedford Regional Water Authority
- Bedford County Sheriff’s Office
- Centra Health Transport
- Forest Fire Department
- Life Care Ambulance Service
- Moneta Fire Department
- Salem Hazardous Material
Earlier: parts of the town of Bedford are being evacuated after a chlorine leak at the Bedford Wastewater Treatment Plant on Orange Street in Bedford. Emergency crews are at the scene. According to the Bedford County Fire Marshal, two chemicals were mixed, creating a large amount of chlorine gas. Two people are being treated for non–life-threatening injuries. Nearby residents and businesses in the immediate surrounding area are being evacuated as a precaution. Downtown Bedford is not affected in this evacuation. The Huddleston Volunteer Fire Department posted
“Please stay clear of the Bedford this morning if at all possible.”
A hotline has been created for anyone living or working in the area with questions or concerns about the incident on Orange Street. Please call: 540-587-6001