GHENT – On Monday, October 8, the Columbia County Environmental Management Council will host a public forum with Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at UAlbany’s School of Public Health. The forum begins at 7 p.m. at the Ghent Recreation Center on County Route 22.
The public forum will explore how officials elsewhere have handled other similar incidents to the TCI fire; what toxins may be detected following such fires; how evacuation procedures can be improved here; what potential impact the fire may have on area agriculture and other environmental resources; how the TCI site may be made safe, and what hazardous materials other industries in this area may generate or already have on the site. Dr. Carpenter is also expected to share his recommendations for further testing at the TCI fire site that could better determine the chemical compounds that may have been released during the intense fire and explosions.
County Environmental Management Council Chair Ed Simonsen said the forum is intended to focus on the science of what really happened at the fire site and surrounding areas as well as what can be done to avoid a repeat of this episode and how all emergency personnel can be prepared to safely handle another such incident.
Under New York Environmental Conservation law, the county’s Environmental Management Council advises the Board of Supervisors on all matters affecting the preservation, conservation and ecologically suitable use of the natural resources of the county and on environmental matters of general concern to county residents.