Coalition Calls for Public Meeting Over Chandler St. Fire | Environment
A Statement from The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York
The Buffalo Environmental Management Commission, the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York, the Western New York Council on Occupational Health and Safety and the NABET CWA have called a public meeting for residents and workers to ask questions of public agencies responsible for emergency response and public health. The meeting has been called over concerns about the response to the industrial fire at Niagara Lubricants on July 13th, 2011.
The coalition has invited the NYS Department of Health, the Erie County Department of Health Commissioner Anthony Bilittier, Erie County Department of Environment and Planning Commissioner Kathy Konst, Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, the Environmental Protection Agency, the City of Buffalo’s Commissioner of Permits and Inspections James Cumerford, the Erie County Local Emergency Planning Commission Chairman Daniel McCartan, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Region 9 Director Abby Snyder and OSHA Regional Director Arthur Dube.
The coalition has attempted to reach out to the City of Buffalo’s Emergency Services Coordinator but the position is not currently filled. The coordinator’s responsibilities have been consumed by the Commissioner of Public Works who has since been invited to the meeting.
The public meeting with be a chance for residents to ask questions about appropriate availability of air testing, the Local Emergency plan for the site, plans for notification for evacuation, and health impacts from the fire.
The meeting is Monday, August 15th at 6:30 pm at the American Legion at 533 Amherst Street in the city of Buffalo.
Residents are extremely concerned about their exposure to toxics during the fire and that they were not evacuated from the neighborhood. These concerns were validated when the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York’s EPA certified test results showed that benzene levels during the fire were over 10 times what EPA deems safe.
About the Clean Air Coalition
The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York is a grassroots environmental health and justice organization. The Coalition runs campaigns against institutions that perpetuate environmental injustice, develops strong grassroots leadership, and does community-based research.