County needs materials unit

September 28, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

Maryland Department of the Environment statistics show the need for a county hazardous materials unit, members of the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) said at a meeting with county commissioners yesterday.

A report indicated 62 calls to the environment department for spills of dangerous or hazardous materials across the state, with an increasing number toward the end of fiscal 1993.

The Spill Response Team of the Emergency Response Division responded to 14 of those calls in Carroll County.

Five hazardous materials incidents occurred in the county between May 24 and July 1 alone.

Another major incident occurred Aug. 20, when 40 pounds of a hazardous material were dumped into a compactor at the Kmart store on Englar Road in Westminster.

About a dozen volunteer firefighters from around the county have completed specialized training in dealing with hazardous materials and respond to incidents in the county.

But they must wait for specialized equipment from Baltimore or Frederick counties before taking any action at the scene of an incident, and those units typically take 45 minutes or more to arrive at the scene.

The LEPC is exploring the possibility of purchasing a hazardous materials unit for Carroll firefighters.

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