Sunday, May 16, 1999

Chemical users to reveal risks




BY BEN L. KAUFMAN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        All you ever wanted to know about chemical accidents — and stuff you hoped you'd never need to know — will be revealed by dozens of local firms and utilities on June 3.

        They're complying with a federal mandate to reveal their worst accidents imaginable, or what one wag called “their circles of death.”

        Firms and utilities also will describe five-year spill histories and most likely serious chemical accidents at their facilities.

        Participants range from Cincinnati Water Works — whose chlorine could be deadly if inhaled in high concentrations — or propane dealers, whose product is potentially explosive.

        The free, public program will be 9 a.m. at the American Red Cross, 10870 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash, sponsored by the new Alliance for Chemical Safety. Reservations are suggested at 612-3074 by June 1.

        It's all part of the Risk Management Program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

        Everyone's accident pre vention and mitigation plan is due by June 21.

        Some details are being withheld from neighbors and EPA's Web site, lest terrorists find opportunities too attractive to ignore.

        The firms and utilities included are those with large amounts of any of 140 toxic or flammable chemicals that could endanger the public in a serious accident.

       



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