On Friday CPI Industries settled with the city for releasing toxic gases into Barron Park. The settlement calls for no admission of guilt and a $20,000 fine. CPI's own investigation concluded it was employee error; however, the PA fire department changed the finding to 'inconclusive'.
CPI stores 600 pounds of deadly potassium Cyanide and 4000 pounds of Nitric Acid on their property line next to Barron Park residents. Inhaling 10 milligrams of Potassium Cyanide will cause a person to pass out within 60 seconds of exposure and, if untreated, will be dead in 20 minutes. This stuff is seriously dangerous.
In documents submitted to the county toxics board, CPI says in a worst case scenerio, they will release 13 pounds of potassium cyanide to the neighborhood; and residents living within 1000 feet of the chemical storage areas will be incapacitated or possibly die.
The Palo Alto fire chief and city attorney concluded that better community notification are the solution to future issues. With a 10 mile per hour breeze, that gives the closest residents 7 seconds to evacuate, and 68 seconds to the residents 1000 feet away (this includes a pre-school).
How in the world will better notification help this problem?