Neighbors React to Blue Racer Siren

KENT – Residents William and Sandra Cody are glad the Blue Racer Natrium plant has a new siren system in case of an emergency, but they still have safety concerns about living so close to the natural gas processing plant that has been closed since a Sept. 21 fire.

As part of a Community Awareness Emergency Response program that both the Blue Racer Midstream and Axiall Corp. Natrium plants have put into place, a warning siren was tested Wednesday, according to Robert Orndorff Jr, Dominion Resource Services Inc. managing director of state and local affairs. Axiall owns the warning system.

“If we were to have an accident or an incident at either Axiall or at the Natrium plant, the alarm is used to alert both the folks within the plant and anyone that is outside of the plant,” Orndorff said, adding officials at both plants have the capability to sound the alarm system.

Additionally, the companies are working with the Marshall County 911 office so they have the capability to set it off as well.

“We want to (ensure) … the communities in this area and our workers that we operate safely,” Orndorff said. “We have been testing the alarm on and off, but we decided to work with Axiall and do this every week at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays.”

He said each plant has its own internal alarm system, with sirens located on both the north and south sides of the plant.

He said the siren is loud enough for residents across the river in the Clarington community to hear.

Additionally, Kent residents received a small Community Awareness Emergency Response pamphlet from both plants that includes the proper procedures to follow in the event an actual crisis situation occurs at either plant.

Despite the precautions, Kent residents William and Sandra Cody – who own and operate E&M’s Dayshift Cafe, located just a few hundred yards north of the Blue Racer Midstream plant – said they still have safety concerns about the plant and for the residents of that area.

The Codys, who said they were able to hear the test Wednesday, also reside in Kent. William Cody said while he understands from an economical standpoint the plant is important to area and the county, he believes the location of the plant is poor.

He said he thinks the plant is located much too close to the residents of Kent, and asked officials if their cafe and home are located “a safe distance” from the plant. The Codys said they did not hear back from plant officials.