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Residents asked to shelter in place after air release of dry powder in Zeeland

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Posted at 11:21 AM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 17:42:34-04

ZEELAND, Mich. — 5:40 p.m. update: After an air release of dry powder at the Vertellus Chemical Plant in Zeeland, the ‘shelter in place’ recommendation for area residents has been lifted, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.

Clean-up continues at the plant and it's parking lot. Streets next to the plant will remain closed until the cleaning is complete, with crews expected to be cleaning throughout the night.

Zeeland officials previously shut down an area near Vertellus Chemical after an air release of dry powder Tuesday morning.

Though no immediate danger to the public was identified, residents and businesses within the affected area were asked to shelter in place, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

The substance released was later identified as plastic.

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The affected area was between Washington and Roosevelt, and between Centennial and State, just west and north of Vertellus Chemical.

Zeeland Fire, Ottawa County Hazmat and other public safety agencies are on site.

Schools in the city have been notified and buses in the area will be suspended while clean-up is underway.

9th-grade students who live in the affected area were told to stay in their school buildings even after the school day ends until officials have cleared the area, and 10th-12th-graders were told to stay home until authorities have cleared the area, according to a message sent to families.

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