By KAREN KANTNER
Assistant Managing Editor
Facility inspections at the 63 Auglaize County operations with hazardous chemicals are to begin soon.
Auglaize County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Troy Anderson said 13 of the facilities need to have the inspections this year to stay up to date and those appointments are being scheduled.
“We divide the facilities out so that we are back into the same facilities again every five years,” Anderson said.
He said they are aiming to have the inspections completed by the end of June, a time when many of the facilities are done with other reporting deadlines and paperwork and have some extra time to do the inspections. None of the inspections have been completed to date.
“We send letters out and work with the facilities to have the inspections done,” Anderson said.
As the director of the EMA, Anderson conducts the inspections either by himself or with the assistance of the fire chief, whose jurisdiction covers the facility.
“It’s important that they have a feel for the layout also, in case anything were to ever happen,” Anderson said. “It gives us an opportunity to meet them firsthand before a disaster.”
During facility inspections, annual plans required to be submitted to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) are reviewed to determine where hazardous and extremely hazardous chemicals are stored.
Contact information submitted to the local and state EMA offices also is checked to ensure a valid contact person and a 24-hour phone number are on file should there be an emergency.
“We look at a five-page sheet of information to make sure it’s current,” Anderson said.
In addition to reviewing the information, Anderson said they make note of the facility’s proximity to schools, hospitals and jails, and the location of surface storm drains.
“We want to preplan if there is a release so we know where it’s going and how to contain it,” Anderson said.