Emergency Planning

When the Niagara Lubricants caught on fire in Buffalo’s Blackrock neighborhood in July of 2010, a toxic cocktail of petroleum, lye and propane was released into the air and inhaled by residents.

The neighborhood was also exposed to hydrocarbons, which, when burned, release PCBs, one of the world’s most toxic contaminants outlawed in the 1970s because they were linked massive skin lesions, severe birth defects, and other serious health problems.

No one was evacuated. Residents were told to stay in their homes where they breathed in the toxic smoke for 23 consecutive hours. Since then, residents have come together to fight for a better emergency response system that prioritizes the health of residents that live next to industry.

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