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TCI Fire Update: Waiting For Mass. Dioxin Test Reports

Controversy continues in the wake of the TCI chemical fire early this month in West Ghent. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has the latest...

Many residents in the vicinity of the burned out TCI facility believe the system of checks and balances failed - and they're looking to government leaders for reassurance - within a day or two after the fire questions were being raised about the way locals were notified about the inferno and the possible contamination dangers from any residue after it was extinguished.

Assemblywoman DiDi Barrett's office called a meeting last week - 300 citizens showed up at the West Ghent Volunteer Fire Dept. - they met with 13 individuals representing agencies including the US Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Police, the DEC, and Homeland Security.

Barrett explained local officials are looking into getting a reverse 9-1-1 system - she empathizes with the communities' desires and concerns about possible water and airborne toxins - the EPA affirmed that onlyin nearby Massachusetts did authorities call for testing to be done -

Assemblywoman Barrett says this is one experience everyone has learned from - she is looking into legislation that will adress both the "right to know" so that people will be informed that facilities like TCI exist in their area - and - laws that address how often companies must report what is being stored in their facilities

All agree there's a lot of follow-up involved here - the fire investigation continues as everyone waits for final data from the EPA's dioxin testing in Massachusetts.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.