Operations at the Ultium Cells battery production plant in Ohio have resumed following a chemical spill in the facility’s cathode mixing area. The spill occurred over the weekend, prompting an investigation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The OSHA investigation is still ongoing to determine if Ultium will face any citations or fines for the incident, and it is currently unclear how much of an impact the spill may have had on battery production at the facility.
According to a recent report from Automotive News, operations at the Ultium Cells facility resumed on Wednesday, as confirmed by Ultium. The company did not provide exact details on when operations at the cathode mixing area resumed. Other areas of the facility were not affected by the spill.
Ultium states that it took “immediate steps” to contain the spill after it occurred. The company hired a third-party to assist in the cleanup. Ultium has stated that no employees were exposed to the toxic chemicals, and no one was injured. No operators were present in the area at the time of the spill.
The spill reportedly included a slurry that contained a solvent used for dissolving polymers to create battery materials. This solvent could prove toxic if it enters the body, which can occur either through direct skin contact, through inhalation of chemical vapor, or through spray droplets. The chemical can affect the nervous system as well as potentially result in reproduction issues.
The Ultium Cells plant in Ohio is operated under a joint venture between General Motors and South Korean battery producer LG Energy Solution. The facility produces batteries for use in GM’s electric vehicles. Production operations began last September. There are currently six open investigations at the facility, while five previous inspections have been closed. The company has paid over $30,000 in fines for OSHA workplace violations at the facility thus far.