D.C. Union Looking For Answers On Methanol Spill | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

D.C. Union Looking For Answers On Methanol Spill

Play associated audio

By Jessica Jordan

Union employees at a D.C. wastewater treatment plant say D.C. Water and Sewer officials are trying to cover up a methanol spill that could still be putting them at risk.

Employees at the Blue Plains Wastewater treatment facility say a mechanical failure in the plant's automatic shut off valves caused a methanol spill on August 20th. Some workers say D.C. Water and Sewer Authority failed to call out a hazmat team or notify employees of safety protocols, that's when they reported the incident to the American Federation of Government Employees.

Vice President of the American Federation of Government Employees Dwight Bowman says the union is still trying to get answers from D.C. Water.

"This puts us on high alert. Let's say somebody inhaled some of these fumes. Just because something doesn't happen immediately doesn't mean that something couldn't happen later on," Bowman says.

Bowman says the Collective Bargaining agreement between AFGE and D.C. Water requires the city to report health and safety issues to the union.

In a written statement, D.C. Water calls the spill "minor" and says it notified the city's department of the environment as required. The agency says it didn't notify the union because it did not consider the event an immediate health or safety threat. Officials say they're currently conducting a mechanical investigation, along with a review of the safety and emergency response taken by authority staff.

AFGE staff say they need more information about the spill so that they can alert union management working at the plant.

NPR

Meet The 2014 Winners Of The MacArthur 'Genius Grants'

This year's winners include a cartoonist, a documentarian, a leader in the legal fight for gay marriage, a saxophonist, mathematicians and scientists, poets, lawyers and advocates.
NPR

Edible Packaging? Retailers Not Quite Ready To Ditch The Wrapper

To reduce waste, some enterprising companies are trying to roll out products that make the package part of the snack — edible packaging. But selling it to the retail market is trickier than it seems.
WAMU 88.5

Senator's Legislation Would Strip NFL Of Nonprofit Status

The Redskins' refusal to change its name has prompted the legislation from U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
NPR

The Kaypro II: An Early Computer With A Writer's Heart

Commentator Andrei Codrescu remembers the first word processor he had — the Kaypro II in the 1980s. Its inventor, Andrew Kay, died Aug. 28, at the age of 95.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.