Gail Martin, Independent Editor
Chemtura has been fined $150,000 for a chemical spill that affected hundreds of Elmira residents in September 2010.
The Ministry of Environment levied the fine against Chemtura, finding it negligent in the spill of BLE 25 and acetone.
The spill cost the company an additional $1.7 million in cleanup costs, as it cleaned cars, houses and other personal property of nearly 300 affected residents and businesses.
In an interview, Jozef Olejarz, said the company is preparing to hold a public meeting on the spill on June 19, as an opportunity for the community to learn more about the spill.
“We would like to invite our neighbours to answer every single question they have,” said Olejarz. “We want to make sure they feel secure and safe.”
The spill occurred as a result of a buildup of pressure in a closed vent at Chemtura.
The company has since made numerous changes to allow for earlier detection, should the problem occur again, ensuring the presence of a dedicated operator to run the BLE process, and refresher training for all staff on emergency response protocols.
The meeting will start at 5 p.m. at Lions Hall in Elmira, and will stay open as long as residents have questions to ask, said Olejarz.