Members of the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met recently and were informed by Rush County EMA director Chuck Kemker that in order to meet state mandates a preparedness exercise will need to be completed by the end of the year.
Kemker said that since January the county has had two chemical spills and it was anticipated that at least one could be used to qualify to meet annual state training HAZ-MAT clean up mandates.
Unfortunately, state officials did not consider either a fuel spill during a fire at the Milroy Pallet Company earlier this year and efforts to control, contain and clean up the area or the June 22, 250 gallon spill of Halex GT, a herbicide designed to provide residual control of the toughest broadleaf weeds and grasses in corn including, ragweeds, water hemp, lambsquarters, pigweeds and foxtails.
The Halex spill occurred in the 200 block of East Second Street. That spill was contained but a two-inch rainfall a short time later that afternoon erased the threat as the chemical was safely diluted and washed down a nearby storm drain.
“We need to notify state officials at least 30 days prior to the exercise we intend to do,” Kemker said.
In an unrelated matter, Kemker said equipment stored in the EMA trailer is in need of better organization. He suggested that the LEPC purchase shelving that would be capable of rolling out when needed. The purchase cannot exceed $3,500.
Kemker next turned his attention to recently purchased decontamination equipment. The Rush County Health Department recently purchased four decontamination showers that will be stored in the EMA trailer. In coming months it is anticipated that an additional three such compartments will be purchased.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106