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Fire departments take action against PFAs
As several Michigan communities are dealing with water contaminated by PFAs, local firefighters are taking action when it comes to firefighting foam that contains the harmful chemicals.

According to state data, nearly 45 percent of fire departments use the foam that contains PFAs.

“More and more you’re seeing it in the media. You see a story on PFAs. Class B foam is always in the story,” State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer said.

Sehlmeyer is on a mission to provide awareness to fire departments and clarity to residents concerned about PFAs, a chemical used in fire retardants.

The class B foam containing those PFAs was used at Wurtsmith Air Force Base in the 1970s and 1980s. It left plumes of PFAs behind in lakes and groundwater.

Sehlmeyer said 32,000 gallons of firefighting foam can be found in fire stations across the state.

“They’re getting asked when they go to the grocery store, did you use that class B foam? Did you do this and do that? And so the fire service is reaching back out to the fire marshal and asking, ‘hey, how do we talk about this,’” Sehlmeyer said.

The Saginaw Fire Department has that class B foam. However, Fire Chief Chris Van Loo said residents should not be concerned.

“You’re going to see us using foam, but I want you to understand in our day to day operations, the foam we are using is class A foam and it is safe,” Van Loo said.

Sehlmeyer said class B foam is rarely used at all, except in cases of aviation, hydrocarbon and alcohol fires. Even then, Sehlmeyer said he is making sure fire departments know what to do to help safeguard the environment from PFAs.
us_MI  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
2 days ago by dchas
Cracking down on government fraud with data analytics
"New data tools are giving government agencies the upper hand in taming fraud, waste, and abuse. Lessons from scaled approaches show how to capture the hundreds of billions of dollars at stake."
public  sector  insights 
3 days ago by jonerp
Torrey council meeting evacuated after resident spills chemical during meeting, county officials say
TORREY, Wayne County — A man was arrested after county officials say he created a hazmat situation when he brought a toxic substance to a town hall meeting Thursday night.

The man, who wasn’t immediately identified, entered a town council meeting at Torrey Town Hall, 100 N. 75 East, with the substance, which was believed to be a pesticide, according to a statement from Steve Lutz, Wayne County Fire District spokesman.

Lutz said the substance was spilled at some point during the meeting and a Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy at the meeting evacuated the building at that point. Wayne County Fire, Wayne County Sheriff's Office and Wayne County Emergency Management officials all responded to the building.

All persons attending the meeting went through a decontamination process because they were exposed to the substance.

Three people were taken to Sevier Valley Hospital in Richfield for observation because they came into direct contact with the substance, Lutz added.
us_UT  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago by dchas
NPS Digital Gallery
Lots of free wildlife/landscape/park photography from the NPS, mostly public domain
nps  digital  photography  wildlife  stock  public  domain  landscape 
8 days ago by llimllib
Chlorine gas mixed up in error at Stonebridge hotel: Saskatoon Fire Department
The Saskatoon Fire Department believed chlorine gas was mixed up in error at a hotel in the Stonebridge neighbourhood Thursday.

Firefighters and a hazmat unit were sent to the Home Inn & Suites at 253 Willis Cres. after a 911 call about a chemical exposure at roughly 12:40 p.m. CT.

Crews immediately restricted access to the area and isolated the risk to one room.

The hazmat crew later determined muriatic acid had been mixed with chlorine, resulting in chlorine gas.

The fire department believed the cause of the chemical mixture was “accidental in nature.”
Canada  public  release  response  chlorine  hydrochloric_acid 
8 days ago by dchas
Congress considers US-wide furniture flammability standard
The US Senate has begun considering bipartisan legislation to adopt California's flammability standard for upholstered furniture nationwide.

Passage of the Safer Occupancy Furniture Flammability Act (S3551 or Soffa) would see California's 2013 Regulation, TB 117-2013, become the federal standard.

The US does not currently have a flammability standard for the products. In its absence, California's approach has served as the de facto national standard.

California updated its regulations five years ago to remove an 'open flame' test that manufacturers almost always met through the use of added flame retardants, which have been the subject of consumer concern in recent years for their potential to pose negative health effects. Following the state's action, many furniture companies moved away from using the substances.

For more than a decade, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has been in a rulemaking process to consider a national mandatory flammability standard for upholstered furniture.
public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
8 days ago by dchas
Pike County Service Center evacuated as precaution after chemical spill
CHILLICOTHE - A couple of hundred people are estimated to have been evacuated from the Pike County Service Center Wednesday morning.

According to Tim Dickerson, Pike County Emergency Management Agency director, a pump for a cooling tower failed, causing it to spill a lubricating oil on the floor inside a maintenance room.

Sarah Junk, public information officer for the emergency management agency, explained the chemical was classified as an inhalation hazard. A material safety data sheet provided to the Gazette also explained the chemical is toxic if ingested, combustible, and corrosive to the eyes and skin.

Pike County Commissioner Fred Foster, who was at the scene Wednesday morning, said he and Dickerson agreed to evacuate the building as a precaution. While the chemical was contained to the maintenance room, because the doors were open to the rest of the building, it put off a bit of a smell. As soon as officials discovered the smell, Foster said they sent everyone home for the day.
us_OH  public  release  response  corrosives 
9 days ago by dchas
Api - Nager.Date
Public Holiday API
Returns the public holidays from given country and year{CountryCode}/{Year}

GET /get/{CountryCode}/{Year}
api  data  public  dates  holidays 
10 days ago by tamouse

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