: 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

Aretha Franklin Blocks Premiere Of Concert Film 'Amazing Grace'

A documentary about Franklin's famous 1972 live album Amazing Grace has suffered years of delays due to technical and legal challenges.
NPR

Open Your Eyes To The Infinite Possibility Of The Tomato

How do you transform 100 pounds of 60 varieties of tomatoes into a seven-course meal? It may sound like a math problem, but it's more a creative journey into the infinite possibility of the tomato.
NPR

British Prime Minister Announces U.K. Will Take In More Migrants

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Guardian political editor Patrick Wintour about British Prime Minister David Cameron's announcement to allow more Syrian refugees into the UK.
NPR

Drone Crash At U.S. Open; New York City Teacher Arrested

The black, shoebox-sized drone flew over the court at Louis Armstrong Stadium during a second-round match and then crashed into empty seats and broke apart.

Leave a Comment

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