Thursday, February 20, 2020
27.4 F
Beaver
Thursday, February 20, 2020
27.4 F
Beaver

Rochester Boro Failed To Make Quorum In First Meeting After Chemical Fire Forced Residents To Shelter

A Rochester Borough Council meeting scheduled for Monday night was cancelled after it failed to make quorum. Only 3 of Rochester’s 8 council members showed for the public meeting, the first since Friday night’s chemical fire that forced the town’s residents to shelter in place for hours. Although Council was unable to proceed with a…

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John Paul
John Paul
John Paul is an award winning investigative reporter and BeaverCountian.com's founder. He reports full-time for the site with an emphasis on watchdog journalism.

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In Your Opinion

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JustSay!!!n
Guest
JustSay!!!n

The vast majority of the outcries that I read on social media were not damning the first responders. The outcries were more so directed towards the failed plans to alert the public properly, as a whole, in an emergency situation. That is unacceptable!!! A new plan of action must be implemented to ensure the safety and well-being of “every” resident of Beaver County in future emergency situations. Period!!!

Former Ram
Guest
Former Ram

No quorum at council meeting. Denial that chlorine gas, even at low levels, is very reactive with the human body and can cause permanent lung damage. Lax blight enforcement. High property taxes and low accountability by public officials. What happened to my hometown?

Silence_Dogood
Member
Silence_Dogood

Every council member that was not in attendance for this meeting should be immediately removed from their positions. They voluntarily ran a public campaign and were elected to that position. To skip a meeting is bad enough, because that’s the role YOU decided to partake; but to skip a meeting that took place immediately after a major emergency that affected a large group of the people you’re supposed to represent is just deplorable.

Also, who is that jackass to downplay the potential harm that chlorine of ANY grade can play on the human respiratory system? Where did he get his degree in Pulmonology? Chlorine of ANY kind, regardless of whether it’s the stuff used in WW1, or the stuff you put in your pool, is going to have an effect on your system. To say, “it’s just the stuff you put in your pool and swim in, so it’s ok,” is reckless at best. When you go swimming, you’re not inhaling it, and you’re certainly not breathing it. It has to be diluted in the water to a certain number of parts per million to be considered safe to swim in.

All that said, who did the air quality testing at different ranges from the site to find out what the concentration in the air was at different distances? What affects does certain concentrations have on the respiratory system? Chlorine, as a gas, can cause burning of the eyes, skin, and mouth, as well as inflammation of the throat and lungs. That’s not just in old people with COPD. That’s everyone. Also, what affects does chlorine gas have on infants and children. You can’t tell me that there wasn’t 1 house somewhere near there that had at least 1 baby in it.

So, before this asshat that had the nerve to downplay this whole thing says, “it’s just pool chlorine, so there’s nothing to worry about,” I think he’d better start doing some MAJOR research. The fact that he’s downplaying this as much as he is is opening the town up to some MAJOR lawsuits should anyone suffer any lasting effects from exposure to the gas.

Will55
Member
Will55

I live in Baden. The morning following the fire, I went outside and discovered a heavy fog that had the distinctly strong smell of chlorine in it. Keep in mind that I live in Baden and while that is close, it isn’t that close.
As for this being a pool chemical grade chlorine, I believe it makes little difference as to the grade when large quantities are burned and also feel the people were unwittingly deceived about the health hazards. When inhaled, chlorine causes burns to the lungs, sometimes permanent damage can occur.
Why wasn’t there better notification to the residents? I’m still curious as to what times during the fire were the air quality assessments made that were used to determine whether evacuation and notification of the residents was needed? I hope these issues have been addressed since the writing of this article.
I couldn’t tell you one Council members name or any of their qualifications but barring a true personal emergency, I can’t imagine any justifiable reason for the council members that failed to attend the meeting. They are shameful. It leaves much room for speculation. Maybe they just didn’t want to take ownership of their duties during this problem. Are the meetings not on the record? I think they are. It would be difficult show up and look the people you represent in the eyes and promise them solutions when you don’t understand the purpose, reasons, and need for your job. Then again, maybe they were out shoveling up the mess and just didn’t have time for the meeting.
Regardless of their reasons for not being there they have failed by refusing to listen to the voices of the people they serve. I am hopeful that I’m wrong and they do care and have listened to their constituents. It has been sometime now and I’d like to think the next time something like this happens in Beaver County the notification system is more apt to serve the people and keep them safe.

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