Homes evacuated for hazmat incident near Myerstown

MYERSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – About 100 people were evacuated from a recycling and waste plant in Lebanon County for about two hours Monday afternoon because of a hazardous materials incident.

People were also told to leave homes and businesses within a half-mile of the Covanta Environmental Solutions – Myerstown building on King Street.

Gary Verna, chief of the county’s Hazardous Material Response Team, said there was a fire in the plant and at the same time there was orange smoke coming from a dumpster.

He said the orange smoke is an eye and respiratory irritant.

“They did something where they put the dumpster, the whatever was mixing and off-gassing, in that dumpster and moved it,” Verna said. “As a precaution, we evacuated everybody downwind about half a mile.”

People were allowed to return to the homes and businesses around 5:30 p.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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