Tate & Lyle Fire Reported

Black smoke bellowing from Tate & Lyle Smokestack, pollution not fire

Plant Safety & Air Quality Concerns

By: Pat Hunter

March 15, 2009

WVLT TV-8 reported that a fire erupted at the Tate & Lyle (A.E. Staley) plant on Friday March 13th at about 2:30 PM. See below.

British owned Tate & Lyle corn milling plant is located in the Blairbend Industrial Park, Loudon, near residential neighborhoods, town and business center, park, nursing homes, etc.  It is also the home of joint-venture partner Dupont Tate & Lyle Bio Products plant, first BIO-PDO process . 

This isn't the first time that a fire has occurred at this plant. Click to view report On Dec. 24. 2004, three explosions occurred in the gluten loadout house system at the Tate & Lyle plant, which rattled windows and shook houses in the downtown area. It was determined that the gluten baghouse was totally destroyed, as well as, one of two gluten loadout bins. The local press didn't even bother to report this news.   

Citizens aired safety and air quality about this explosion. The Loudon County Air Quality Task Force (Air Quality Task Force) refused to get involved with this matter or concerns. This matter was also brought to the attention of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Air Pollution Control Board and Loudon City officials. It seems that TDEC just made excuses and downplayed the explosions and concerns of citizens.

How many more explosions and/or fires will it take for local, state or federal officials to address potential life safety and air quality issues at this plant? 

Gerry Schlueter Tate & Lyle mgr. (l) & Mike Slimbarski, retired mgr. of Tate & Lyle

Both serve as members of Loudon County Air Quality Task Force. Schlueter serves as an industry representing Tate & Lyle and Mike "Slim" Slimbarski, the former Tate & Lyle plant manager who has since retired, serves as a citizen representative!   



TV 8 Report

SOURCE: WVLT picture of Tate & Lyle plant fire 03-13-09

"Fire erupts Friday afternoon at East Tennessee corn refinery plant"


"LOUDON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A fire ignited Friday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. at the Tate and Lyle corn refinery plant in Loudon, according to Loudon Police.

Loudon City Police chief James Webb says the fire in one of the plant's smokestacks is under control and no one was injured.

The plant was shut down for scheduled four to six week maintenance period at the time of the blaze, according to Tate and Lyle spokesman Chris Olson.

Officials says the a stray spark from a cutting tool ignited in a take of liquid fiberglass.

The plant was evacuated while firefighters battled the flames from a ladder truck.

According to the company's Web site, the Loudon plant refines corn for animal feed, cereal sweeteners, ethanol, and food starches." 

To view WVLT pictures and video footage of the smokestack fire at the Tate & Lyle (former A.E. Staley plant)   VIDEO & PICTURES  TATE & LYLE (A.E. Staley) FIRE