News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 03/24/2008
Subject :

Palo Alto Fire Department Responds to Hydrochloric Acid Release at Communications & Power Industries (CPI)
Contact : Barbara Cimino    650-617-3164
Palo Alto, CA – Palo Alto Fire responded to Communications & Power Industries (CPI) (located at El Camino Real and Hansen Way) this morning as a result of a spill of approximately 10-20 gallons of hydrochloric acid. A delivery truck was making a standard delivery of the product when a fill gauge apparently did not operate properly and allowed the acid to spill to the asphalt surface of the parking lot. There was no vapor or plume emitted as a result of the spill. 

There were no injuries to employees or first responders. It was determined that the spill did not pose an exposure threat to the community. It was contained within the property of CPI. Fire units arrived to assist on-site hazardous materials technicians with the containment. It was later determined that an additional 50 to 80 gallons of the acid spilled in the containment building. As a routine precaution and at the request of the Fire Department, CPI employees were asked to evacuate from their buildings to the outside until full containment was accomplished.

The outside spill of the hydrochloric acid was neutralized with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). The remaining product was contained and disposed of accordingly and in the proper manner.  
Palo Alto Fire units remained on scene and worked with CPI until full mitigation was completed by mid-afternoon.  

The investigation by the Fire Department is ongoing and more information will be forthcoming as it becomes available.