Hazardous Liquid Waste to Get Additional Attention from Cook County: Environment and Law Enforcement Cooperate on Public Safety Program


From left to right: Raymond Kay, Intelligence Specialist, MABAS-Illinois; Deborah Stone, Director, Cook County Department of Environmental Control; Gene Ryan, Director of Planning, Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and Kevin Schnoes, Deputy Director, Cook County Department of Environmental Control. Photo credit, Jeff Rodriguez

An ordinance approved by the Cook County Board will require businesses that store hazardous chemicals such as acids, solvents and other highly toxic chemicals to report the type and location of the chemicals and how they are stored.

The information collected will be kept by the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and will be available to first responders.

“We’re taking an important step in preserving the health and safety of our first responders, as well as of our residents who live near businesses and other facilities that store hazardous chemicals,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.

“Currently first responders have limited access to this type of information” Gene Ryan, the director of planning with the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said.  “The collaboration between Environmental Control and DHSEM fills a huge gap that is proactive and forward thinking.”

Also supporting the ordinance was Raymond Kay, intelligence specialist for the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System of Illinois, a statewide mutual aid cooperative that includes all fire departments within Cook County.  Kay said having access to critical site data before an incident occurs allows local fire departments to develop a plan of operations based on facts. “It allows responders to more quickly resolve the emergency, which means residents are safer, property is protected and the environment isn’t negatively impacted.

For more information, visit:  http://www.cookcountyil.gov/2015/12/16/hazardous-liquid-waste-to-get-additional-attention-from-cook-county/