Ministry downplays health concerns

News Aug 28, 2009 Ancaster News

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson will ask the city’s board of health to purchase real time air monitoring equipment to notify the public in the event of an industrial fire.

Mr. Ferguson said the city’s fire service performed admirably to extinguish the 12-hour blaze and safeguard neighbouring businesses and residents. But he called the environment ministry’s delay in providing air quality information “unconscionable” after a huge plume of black smoke billowed across Ancaster in the early morning hours Tuesday.

Malfunctioning test equipment was blamed for the delay in receiving air quality data. The first air quality samples were not recorded until 12:30 p. m., nearly 10 hours after the fire began.

“There wasn’t a sense of urgency with them,” said Mr. Ferguson, addressing the ministry delay. He plans to address the issue at the city’s board of health meeting next month.

A Ministry of the environment official downplayed air quality concerns following Tuesday’s fire at Archmill House Inc., a woodworking facility in the Ancaster Business Park.

Ministry spokesperson Jennifer Hall said the fire produced particulate matter, benzene and butadiene, chemicals associated with the burning of building materials.

But early tests have concluded chemical levels do not pose serious health effects, she said.

“There are no concerns for air quality impacts,” Ms. Hall said on Tuesday afternoon. She said test results showed air quality remained within acceptable ministry guidelines, even at the height of the early morning fire.

Ms. Hall said air quality levels at a Mountain index station at Vickers Road and East 18th street showed an air quality index of 48 at 7 a. m.

An air quality reading is considered poor when it reaches a level of 50. By 7:30 a. m., the air quality returned to a normal level, Ms. Hall said.

Ms. Hall said douse water used to contain the fire was collected by vacuum trucks which minimized the impact on a nearby storm retention pond.

Water samples from the outfall were collected for testing.

Ministry downplays health concerns

News Aug 28, 2009 Ancaster News

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson will ask the city’s board of health to purchase real time air monitoring equipment to notify the public in the event of an industrial fire.

Mr. Ferguson said the city’s fire service performed admirably to extinguish the 12-hour blaze and safeguard neighbouring businesses and residents. But he called the environment ministry’s delay in providing air quality information “unconscionable” after a huge plume of black smoke billowed across Ancaster in the early morning hours Tuesday.

Malfunctioning test equipment was blamed for the delay in receiving air quality data. The first air quality samples were not recorded until 12:30 p. m., nearly 10 hours after the fire began.

“There wasn’t a sense of urgency with them,” said Mr. Ferguson, addressing the ministry delay. He plans to address the issue at the city’s board of health meeting next month.

A Ministry of the environment official downplayed air quality concerns following Tuesday’s fire at Archmill House Inc., a woodworking facility in the Ancaster Business Park.

Ministry spokesperson Jennifer Hall said the fire produced particulate matter, benzene and butadiene, chemicals associated with the burning of building materials.

But early tests have concluded chemical levels do not pose serious health effects, she said.

“There are no concerns for air quality impacts,” Ms. Hall said on Tuesday afternoon. She said test results showed air quality remained within acceptable ministry guidelines, even at the height of the early morning fire.

Ms. Hall said air quality levels at a Mountain index station at Vickers Road and East 18th street showed an air quality index of 48 at 7 a. m.

An air quality reading is considered poor when it reaches a level of 50. By 7:30 a. m., the air quality returned to a normal level, Ms. Hall said.

Ms. Hall said douse water used to contain the fire was collected by vacuum trucks which minimized the impact on a nearby storm retention pond.

Water samples from the outfall were collected for testing.

Ministry downplays health concerns

News Aug 28, 2009 Ancaster News

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson will ask the city’s board of health to purchase real time air monitoring equipment to notify the public in the event of an industrial fire.

Mr. Ferguson said the city’s fire service performed admirably to extinguish the 12-hour blaze and safeguard neighbouring businesses and residents. But he called the environment ministry’s delay in providing air quality information “unconscionable” after a huge plume of black smoke billowed across Ancaster in the early morning hours Tuesday.

Malfunctioning test equipment was blamed for the delay in receiving air quality data. The first air quality samples were not recorded until 12:30 p. m., nearly 10 hours after the fire began.

“There wasn’t a sense of urgency with them,” said Mr. Ferguson, addressing the ministry delay. He plans to address the issue at the city’s board of health meeting next month.

A Ministry of the environment official downplayed air quality concerns following Tuesday’s fire at Archmill House Inc., a woodworking facility in the Ancaster Business Park.

Ministry spokesperson Jennifer Hall said the fire produced particulate matter, benzene and butadiene, chemicals associated with the burning of building materials.

But early tests have concluded chemical levels do not pose serious health effects, she said.

“There are no concerns for air quality impacts,” Ms. Hall said on Tuesday afternoon. She said test results showed air quality remained within acceptable ministry guidelines, even at the height of the early morning fire.

Ms. Hall said air quality levels at a Mountain index station at Vickers Road and East 18th street showed an air quality index of 48 at 7 a. m.

An air quality reading is considered poor when it reaches a level of 50. By 7:30 a. m., the air quality returned to a normal level, Ms. Hall said.

Ms. Hall said douse water used to contain the fire was collected by vacuum trucks which minimized the impact on a nearby storm retention pond.

Water samples from the outfall were collected for testing.