Meeting held to discuss chlorine storage saftey

Whitman County Emergency Managers and the Canadian company wanting to store 4,500 tons of chlorine on the Palouse met to discuss logistics on Tuesday night.

If the plan moves forward, 50 chlorine-filled tanker cars will be stored on a railroad siding in Belmont, Washington, south of Oakesdale on Highway 27.

On Tuesday, the Vancouver-based company talked about how to safely store the hazardous material in Washington State.

Canexus says it needs to move the chlorine to the Palouse because the company is renovating its production line. It also wants to move the chlorine filled rail cars out of Vancouver before the 2010 winter Olympics because it is concerned that security restrictions will make it hard to transport the chlorine to American buyers.

Whitman County commissioners did not know about plans to store the chlorine until they were contacted by KXLY4 news this week.

Some community members have voiced concerns about the plan, and at the meeting on Tuesday, Canexus officials spoke with emergency responders about safety.

“What we’re trying to do this evening is educate the first responders, what chlorine is, how to respond to it, establish a dialogue decide between us how to respond to an incident if an incident should occur,? said logistics manager Marty Cove.

Although many responders were at the meeting, some feel there needs to be more information about the chlorine storage.

“I’d like to see another informational meeting, another training session so we’re very well informed. Today with what I see as far as with their capabilities, I don’t see a problem,” Assistant Chief of Fire District 10 Joe Fox said.

So far, no date has been set for when the chlorine will be moved to the Palouse.