Monday, August 27, 2012

Meeting Tonight

The Columbia County Environmental Management Council meets tonight at 7 p.m. at 401 State Street. The main topic on the agenda is expected to be the TCI fire. Michael O'Hara is the City of Hudson's representative on this council.


  1. I attended the meeting.It was very disturbing. There were 6 citizens present ,then 3 left after about a half hour
    It was 2hrs long,and they talked a lot about not that much.
    A sort of jovial atmosphere, a lot of chatting.
    around 12 people on panel
    I am no news reporter ,but
    They obviously had not attended the Public Safety Committee meeting that I had
    or few had read any of Sam Pratt's coverage.
    They meandered through points,making few.
    They had obviously had not heard William Black of the County Emergency Management office at the Public Safety Meeting*(see foot note)
    because they talked about finding out what these type of companies had on their premises,making lists what was there and making that available to fire dept.
    That there should be a data base
    That building and fire inspectors should be in charge of making sure things were safe,
    that they should be questioning whether Columbia County wanted these kinds of businesses here.
    They didn't seem concerned that TCI would rebuild.Someone brought up the death of the TCI employee,
    and this other guy explained,that there were 2 guys without proper protection cleaning that tank
    ,but the lethal gas was heavy and low so the taller one survived.
    Then they just started talking about something else.The Farmers Market.They didn't want people to be afraid of the produce.
    They felt it seemed that DEC and EPA had found nothing and done what they could and now it was too late for further testing
    ,so they should now be concerned about preventing the next time.The toxins would all be diluted by now.
    There was a little science discussion about PC B's ,but it was more theoretical than pertinent information
    Then one guy said he read that someone had a black substance floating in their pool.
    He wondered if they put any of in a mason jar ,to have it tested.
    Then a woman on panel said their neighbors frogs in their pond had all died
    and another guy on panel said that his pond was closer to the fire and his frogs were fine.
    And that was the end of discussion
    I was getting pissed off.
    I, being one of three in the audience,that ended up being two,since the reporter from the paper left,
    I asked them about the Fire Dept,and the danger the firemen had been put in.
    What kind of training and equipment did they have.
    Who was there that was responsible and knowledgeable with the experience to protect the firemen
    Some panel lady snapped at me that their fire dept isn't stupid and they get 100 hours of training.
    I asked them why didn't anyone know there was metallic sodium in there ,
    and it was a TCI employee told them at the last minute the sodium was in there
    as they were about to open their hoses with water
    They all came very close to being blown to bits.
    Michael O'Hara seemed interested in finding out why no one knew it was in there.
    but then the subject was changed.
    They didn't think TCI would hold any public meetings and that there was an insurance
    claim office set up at the local Toyota dealership for TCI.
    They spent a moment or two on fracking water being hauled or used in Columbia County,since there was a drought.
    And the procurement of green materials for County offices.
    And they ended,I was hard to tell.

  2. Some brief information about putting out a fire when metallic sodium is present.

    "Sodium metal reacts violently with water. If a fire has been caused and sodium is present
    adding water will only increase the a metal it floats on water and reacts violently with is especially reactive in that all of the time
    it must be stored in a water free environment and in most cases sodium metal is stored in an oil type solution..
    .It has the ability to spontaneously combust if the humidity is high enough and the metal is exposed to the moisture.....
    if wet it produces a reaction that releases a flammable my best advice...have something else handy
    to put out this fire like a dry chemical or an alcohol foam..DO NOT use a CO2 fire extinguisher or water"
    Footnote from post above.I hope Sam doesn't mind.
    *excerpt from Sam Pratt article"Saftey supes endorse reverse 911"Aug 21 2012 on his blog Sam *
    "“We need to look at all of Columbia County” in terms of what various businesses have on site in terms of hazardous materials.
    Porreca argued that such inventories should be computerized, “so that they are at our fingertips whenever [firefighters] go to a site.”
    Black agreed, but added that while “companies have to report by Federal law, there are no teeth in the law.
    A facility could be right here in Hudson—
    I could see the propane tanks, the anhydrous ammonia, and tell them they have to report it—
    but there's nothing I can do to make them.” Black cited the Federal Right to Know Law requiring companies which store or handle
    hazardous materials to report what they have, if they “have reportable quantities”
    but again noted that “I can't enforce it, the Sheriff can't enforce it, the State Police can't enforce it...
    It's an old law that needs to be updated.” Porreca added that employees deserve to have access to such information as well."
    Sam Pratt
    I spoke to a fire safety official after the Public Safety Meeting
    ,about what reportable quantities meant.
    He told me that this can be very dangerous .
    Say the reportable quantity of "X" is 50gal.
    A company can then legally not report it if they have 49 gal. of "X" or less