LaSalle Borough residents picked up a nice surprise in their mailboxes these past few days when those luckily enough to open it and discovered that Labatt’s Brewery uses ammonia in its product cooling systems and new laws now requiring companies that use chemicals to make it known to the public. Acquaintances of mine from the surrounding area started calling me asking me what’s going on.
City regulations also require that those companies install a warning siren on site to alert the population should a major leak occur and toxic materials be released into the air and form a toxic cloud, a sobering thought considering some well known rail disasters this summer including the tragedy at Lac Megantic.
Residents starting receiving these info pamphlets this past Friday, and it has been the subject of some conversation on social media. The word is that there will be an emergency drill this Thursday the November 21st 2013 at 3:15 p.m. and with some people having admitted to dumping the envelopes, some confusion will most certainly ensue.
Several parents we spoke were upset that they didn’t know all this time about this explosive danger right in their backyard. Sarah Croteau of LaSalle was one parent that I had a chance to speak to who was surprised and upset that this has been happening all these years. “I think that people need to know about this. I have two small children and it’s terrifying to think what they have been doing in the past. And most people who have received the noticed didn't even open it or bother to read it,” mentioned Sarah and echoing a lot we have been hearing.
The pamphlet describes measures should the sirens go off such as immediately entering a building to avoid breathing in toxic gasses and presuming it’s a school day, to keep the children at school to avoid exposure for both parents and children, and of course, closing all windows, doors, and ventilation systems. One should now hope that the beer process would continue to flow smoothly.