• The Federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), which was passed in 1986, requires that “Information about accidental chemical releases must be made available to the public.” More info is at: https://www.epa.gov/oem/content/epcra/
• This alert from the County comes via Patty Metheney of Ghent CANN: New York State Ags & Markets have recommend that if you have animals outside that if possible move them to cover and only use feed/hay that has been covered. If anyone needs more information please call Ag & Markets at 518-457-3502.
• Via a Hudson resident, a New York Times article on a town in Canada which was devastated by “a fire in a warehouse used to store oil contaminated with chemicals known as PCB's” back in 1998: https://www.nytimes.com/1988/09/11/world/canadians-return-to-town-evacuated-in-pcb-fire.html
• A press conference is going to be held in Hudson by County emergency management officials at their office at 1:30 pm today. Some obvious questions that might be asked:
— Is the fire now out? If not, when is it expected to be?
— Is the warning for residents within 15 miles meant to be a radius, or a diameter, of the fire site?
— What materials (hazardous, toxic, or otherwise) were stored on the site, and in what quantities?
— How many people, if any, were evacuated from the immediate vicinity?
— What steps, if any, were taken after TCI's smaller fire in January to prevent future fires?
— How did TCI, which is based in the Deep South, wind up in Columbia County? Who owns and manages it?
— Has TCI received any local, County, State or Federal assistance?
— What agencies were responsible for inspecting the site for safety?
— What emergency notification systems does Columbia County have in place for residents, most of whom were unaware of the potentially toxic event from when it began sometime after 10 pm yesterday, until around 7-8 am this morning?
— Some residents of Berkshire and Rensselaer counties report receiving reverse 911 or robocalls alerting them to the fire, and precautions to take. Did Columbia County issue any such warnings?
— Have our firefighters and other first responders been adequately protected from what might be highly toxic fumes?
— Will the County be recommending any cleanup or sanitizing measures for nearby residents?
More to come...