BELDING, Mich. — In the worst-case scenario state inspectors say the release of a chlorine cloud from a Belding business could make neighbors sick and some could die.
Until they make safety improvements, the state has ordered the KMI Company to stop manufacturing chlorine pool sanitizing pucks.
There have been a few fires in the plant, the latest on June 22, that led to the release of hazardous chlorine gas.
No one was hurt, but after visiting the KMI factory, county and state inspectors say they saw problems that are dangerous and potentially a threat to public health.
“I think they should move,” says neighbor Debra Harrison. "We have been evacuated. I think they should be out on 10 acres of land with no one around them.”
State regulators say the company is cooperating and responding to concerns about the leaking roof, open sacks of trichloroisocyanuric acid, acid dust on the floor and general office practices.
“I worked there a couple of years ago,” says Jack Hodges. “It was not very good. I had a hard time breathing. My nose kept running.”
There is currently no timetable on when chlorine puck production will resume at the plant. Regulators says all concerns must be addressed.
“That’s good to know,” says neighbor Candice Sager. “Hopefully they get it all squared away and they can get it back up and running properly.”
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