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Some Apex Businesses To Reopen for First Time Since Chemical Plant Fire

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APEX, N.C. — Businesses in Apex are ready to reopen their doors after being shut down most of the weekend following a chemical plant fire at the Environmental Quality Co.

For most of Sunday, Investment Boulevard was packed with trucks pumping out collected rainwater that could be contaminated and taking it to a treatment facility. Another set of trucks was bringing in more dirt to create an even bigger barrier around the site to make sure no contaminated water could escape.

"All the inspectors have indicated that all the contamination was restricted to the site," EQ spokesman Scott Marin said. "No particulates left the site. No contaminated rainwater or surface water runoff left the site as well."

That's good news not only for residents, but also for the closest neighbors to the plant. Industrial business owners on the same block went back into their businesses Sunday with toxicologists and air monitoring specials. Officials said they found no soot, no ash, and nothing out of the ordinary.

"We haven't detected anything," said Marin. "We didn't expect to. But they're very relieved to get those assurances, and they will be back in their businesses very shortly."

Capital Coffee is right next door to the EQ site. Owners said Sunday they are anxious to get up and running.

"We service about 2,000 businesses in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill communities, and these businesses depend on us to bring them their break room supplies," said owner John Scott.

Employees at the business planned to resume work sometime Sunday evening so that Monday could be business as usual.

"I can tell our customers that we're coming," Scott said. "You've never seen anybody any madder than if you let them run out of coffee."

All businesses but one in the Investment Boulevard area expected to be open Monday. The one business that will remain closed will do so for logistical reasons.