(Rick HIckman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 5:53 PM
Officials from the Local Emergency Planning Committee will invite Axiall executives to Lake Charles next month to discuss the explosion and fire that occurred at the company’s Westlake plant just days before Christmas.
Dick Gremillion, LEPC secretary and treasurer, said a formal letter will be sent to Axiall this week, inviting the company’s key executives to the committee’s Feb. 18 meeting, which will be opened to the public. Gremillion, who also serves as director of the Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said the meeting will be held at held OHSEP’s office on Lakeshore Drive in Lake Charles.
If public attendance becomes too much for OHSEP’s meeting room, Gremillion added, the event may be moved to the Police Jury’s meeting room.
LEPC Vice Chairman Gerald Pullin said he wants to give Axiall time to finish its investigation on the incident.
“I don’t know what their status is, but sometimes these investigations and engineering evaluations take a little time,” Pullin said. “We need to give them time to get their information before they come before us.”
Axaill officials have hired their own independent consultant to calculate the amount of toxic chemicals that were released into the atmosphere as a result of the Dec. 20 blast. The company’s Unauthorized Discharge Notification Report, which was sent to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality on Dec. 26, listed hydrochloric acid, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride monomer as the chemicals that were “released as a result of the unauthorized discharge.”
The incident sent 27 people to area hospitals. Axiall’s report stated that there were no injuries to facility personnel.
Posted By: Michael On: 1/22/2014
From Dec 26 to Feb 18 to develop a report of hazardous chemicals(o wait, ALLEGED release) that the community was exposed to. AND it is not even a mandatory request it is an invitation.
This Lake Area Industrial Alliance, LAIA, presents us with publicity releases about what great neighbors they are yet we think harmful chemicals were released and two months will pass before they are 'asked to attend a meeting'.
There i s no doubt officials know what was released. Could it be they are deciding how to put it in a report to release to the public?
Don't the citizens deserve better?