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Iroquois Gas Hosts Hazardous Materials Exercise

Written By Editor on 11/12/16 | 11/12/16

First responders from Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie Counties were activated October 8, 2016 to respond to a simulated emergency at the Iroquois Gas Transmission System’s Wright Compressor Station.

The hazardous material (or HAZMAT) full scale exercise simulated a leak of mercaptan during a standard delivery by Chevron Philips. Mercaptan is the distinct and recognizable odorant added to natural gas that makes it easier to detect gas leaks. It is also extremely flammable, and harmful if swallowed or inhaled in high concentrations.

 The goals of the exercise were to validate coordination and communication capabilities for a pipeline incident, and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of emergency response plans. Gallupville Fire Department and the Fulton, Montgomery & Schoharie regional HAZMAT team secured the scene, used appropriate personal protective equipment to suppress the (simulated) fire, and were processed through decontamination procedures. A hotwash discussion followed to discuss strengths and weaknesses, and determine what changes (if any) should be made to policy and/or procedures.

 “More than 70 people gave up their Saturday morning to be a part of this exercise to ensure that if this type of event were to occur in Schoharie County, our first responders would be prepared to respond effectively.” Michael Hartzel, Schoharie County Office of Emergency Services Director said.

“This drill was a great opportunity for Iroquois to train with local emergency officials in responding to an emergency on its pipeline system.” stated Spencer Robinson, Manager of Right-of-Way.

“We thank the many different agencies that collaborated in the planning and execution of this important training exercise.”
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