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Chemtool releases morning statement on Rockton fire and aftermath

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Chemtool fire Wednesday web pic

ROCKTON (WREX) —The parent company of Chemtool issued the following statement Thursday morning summarizing the many aspects of the aftermath of the fire that destroyed the Rockton, Illinois plant this week.

6/17/2021 6:30 a.m. CDT

ROCKTON, Illinois -- As previously expressed, we are devastated by the fire at our Chemtool Rockton site and regret the disruption to area residents. As we continue to work with local, state and federal organizations, we want to provide an update on the following topics:

  • Health and Safety: Understandably, questions have been raised about the materials burned in the fire. Our health and safety experts have completed a thorough evaluation of every Chemtool material burned. We are confident that the materials burned in the fire pose no health risk in the short or long-term, other than the short-term irritation one would normally experience in the presence of smoke 

    During a fire of this magnitude, products will convert to their elemental form. This infographic details the mix of the elements from Chemtool’s impacted materials (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, as examples), which are elements we breathe and touch every day.
  • EPA Referral: We have not seen a formal document but will of course work with state and federal regulators to address the concerns raised in the referral. This would include working to address any pollution issues as we have since this incident began and executing a site clean-up once the fire has been extinguished.   
  • Debris Clean Up and Community Support: We have contracted with Clean Harbors to provide removal of fire-related debris. Residents can call 877-552-8942 to request this service or find out more information. This number has been posted on the Winnebago County Health Department, as well as our response site Clean Harbors reports that they’ve heard from a variety of residents. Residents leaving a message need only do that once. All calls will be logged and returned.

    In addition this effort, and our to-date support of the North Western Illinois Red Cross and the Northern Illinois Food Banks, we have also made a donation to the Rockton Lions Club.
  • Request for Reimbursement: For requests for reimbursement for personal expenses tied to the evacuation, such as hotel stays, leverage this claim form.
  • Employee Support: We again want to affirm that we are providing our employees our full support. Pay and benefits will continue for employees while we work through this event, and we are providing counseling support for all those who want or need it. We expect to leverage many of our local employees during our recovery and clean up stage.
  • OSHA: There have been some reports of a recent OSHA visit. These two events are unrelated. 

We again want to thank the first responders, safety forces and all organizations responding to this incident. We are grateful for your actions and will continue to provide our support.

Find continuing 13 WREX coverage of the Chemtool fire here.