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FLORENCE — Town fire crews dressed in hazardous materials gear closed a portion of Hunt Highway at Anthem at Merrill Ranch Tuesday morning in response to a chlorine leak at a Johnson Utilities wastewater treatment plant.

Fire Chief David Strayer said he knew of no injuries resulting from the leak.

As a precaution, fire crews closed the southbound lane of Hunt Highway in front of the plant from approximately 9 to 11 a.m.

The leak apparently began after interim operator EPCOR Utilities performed maintenance in a heavily corroded area of the plant, and a 100-pound chlorine cylinder began leaking. Strayer said fire officials believe the tank had essentially expelled all its gas by the time firefighters arrived. Firefighters turned the scene back over to EPCOR and its contractors late Tuesday morning.

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Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at mcowling@pinalcentral.com.

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