Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dodd Tours Kleen Energy Blast Site

Senator Chris Dodd toured the Kleen Energy blast site Tuesday morning with Middletown mayor Sebastian Giuliano and State Senator John Fonfara, chair of the State Senate Energy and Technology Committee.

Dodd professed astonishment at the power of the blast, citing an industrial door which had was blown by the force of the blast through the walls of the plant, and out the other side.

Dodd also expressed the need to conduct investigations to determine what happened and to help prevent a similar future occurrence.   He noted that it was important to conduct thorough investigations, but to continue to do all possible to help the plant recover, reopen and get back online.

Dodd deferred to Giuliano when asked the status of the investigation and the hopes of getting the plant back up and running.  Giuliano said that the warrant for the criminal and fire investigation expires on Friday.  He said that every day the investigations continue is another day in which recovery and rebuilding is delayed.

When asked if he thought there was a chance that the plant would never be reopened Giuliano said that the chance of abandoning the plant "were as improbable as if I said it would be up and running next month."

While Dodd urged investigation to be sure that proper regulations are in place in the future, Fonfara said strongly that the private companies now allowed to build plants in the state are under the same regulations and safety standards as power company projects have been in the plant.

Giuliano confirmed that 114 people were at the site the day of the blast, and that he, and investigators had been frustrated by the inability to be assured that everyone was accounted for.  He said that simply having an agreed-upon point of assembly in the case of an emergency would be a step in the right direction.

Giuliano could not confirm that Kleen Energy had a supervisor on the site at the time of the accident, or if there were any supervisory personnel on site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope I'm not being overly picky, but I have a question about this article. It mentions, in a few places, the idea of getting the plant back "up and running". I know that the Eye reporter knows that the plant was never up and running and wonder if Dodd suggested in his comments that it was? Or did this just refer to the idea of getting the construction of the plant back up and running?