VARENNES, QC, March 26, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - In the wake of last weekend's incident and at the initiative of Martin Damphousse, Mayor of Varennes, City authorities met yesterday with representatives of Kronos and Solumet in order to review the incident as well as discuss the current prevention and intervention measures in emergency situations. The proactive discussions focused on several observations related to existing alert measures, the communications between stakeholders and the intervention scenarios of the City's emergency services within the perimeter affected by the leak of titanium tetrachloride.
The standard procedure communicated to the population when a toxic product leak occurs is to find shelter indoors and to remain totally confined. The City explained during the meeting that, contrary to what was said last weekend, the City's emergency services did not access the Solumet site before 2:00 p.m. to reach the employees that were inside the building because of the presence of a plume in front of the Solumet plant site for which the concentration of hydrogen chloride was unknown at that time. Regarding this matter, City authorities wish to apologize for the fact that incorrect information was communicated.
"Over the last several years, the City, its industrial partners, government authorities and citizens—within the scope of their mix-municipal-industrial committee (CMMI) endeavours— have set up different plans to reduce to a minimum the risks and impacts of an industrial accident. This is why we wanted to discover why emissions released during last weekend's incident affected Solumet employees. Our common objective is to find a way forward so a similar situation does not recur in the future," says the Mayor of Varennes, Martin Damphousse.
Solumet has accepted hereafter to participate in the work of the CMMI of Varennes in order to actively collaborate in the committee's efforts to continuously improve potential risk analyses, develop better intervention scenarios and maintain close and effective communications with industry employees and citizens.
"In a city that has a heavy industry sector as well as a chemical park, public security must be a top priority and remains a shared responsibility. It is essential to be completely transparent with industries that present potential risks, while continuing to keep citizens fully informed of measures and procedures required in the event of an industrial accident within city boundaries," concludes Mayor Martin Damphousse, while also reiterating his thanks to organizations from all jurisdictions and to all the people involved in managing last weekend's incident.
The public is encouraged to obtain a copy of the Home Emergency Measures Guide ("Guide des mesures d'urgences à domicile") either at City Hall or on the City's website, and to view the video entitled "Guide des mesures d'urgence à domicile" (Home Emergency measures guide) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkbStcricYE.
SOURCE Ville de Varennes
For further information: Communications Department, City of Varennes, Tel.: 450-652-9888, [email protected]; Stéphane Charron, Plant Director, Varennes, Kronos Canada; Daniel Granger, Tel: 514-840-7990; Michel Lessard, Solumet, Tel.: 450-929-4093