Friday, October 22, 2010

Elmira Independent - Odour complaints rise at Chemtura

Elmira Independent - Odour complaints rise at Chemtura

Just when officials at Chemtura are getting over the fallout from the chemical release of BLE 25 on Sept. 27, they have a new problem to contend with — the return of obnoxious odours from the Chemtura site.
The issue was raised at the Oct. 18 Chemtura Public Advisory Committee by Elmira resident Shannon Purves-Smith.
Purves-Smith told CPAC members that she reported the odour to the Spills Action Centre in Guelph, on three separate occasions.
She also spoke to a Duke Street resident, Jo Coblentz, who indicated that odour has become a regular problem in the evenings and weekends.
Purves-Smith asked Coblentz to give her a call the next time she noticed the odour. Purves-Smith visited Coblentz during the next odour incident.
“Immediately, I felt as if I had put my head in a bottle of household chemical,” said Purves-Smith. “It was like Mr. Clean without the lemon smell.
“This is a matter we had considered finished, but it is apparently not finished,” added Purves-Smith. “I want it dealt with.”
Jeff Merriman, an environmental engineer at Chemtura, told CPAC members that the company had received four odour complaints in the last month, up substantially from previous months. Three of the four complaints were confirmed by the company as likely emanating from Chemtura.
“Odours from our plant are unacceptable,” said Merriman. “We want to address this.”
Merriman reminded CPAC that the protocol that should be followed in the case of an odour complaint is to call the Spills Action Centre in Guelph (1-800-268-6060) and then call Chemtura (519-669-1671), reporting the concern to the shift supervisor.
“The shift supervisor is ready to go out into the community at a moment’s notice,” said Merriman, adding that air samples can also be taken during an incident.
Purves-Smith also reported concerns about being able to communicate with the Spills Action Centre, noting there were significant difficulties in making herself understood — and understanding the response — since the person who answered the phone had a very strong accent.

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