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CLARENCE BATTERY-DISPOSAL PLANT FACES INSPECTION

An inspection of a Clarence battery-disposal plant that has been the scene of 21 incidents over the last five years will be conducted by Erie County emergency services officials next Monday.

"We plan to tell them what they are required to do to meet provisions of the federal Superfund law dealing with emergency situations," said Commissioner James P. Keane of the Emergency Services Department. "We also want an inventory of the wastes at the plant."

Keane was angered when officials of BDT Inc., 4255 Research Park, failed to notify the county of a fire at the chemical-detoxification plant Jan. 8. The commissioner said the company also had failed to respond to the county's request for information on its operations as required under federal laws.

Keane's office is responsible for preparing and carrying out operations involving fire, police, hospital and other emergency services as well as ensuring protection of the public.

The company did notify the state Department of Environmental Conservation's 24-hour hot line about the fire.

Keane said a check of fire records shows there have been 21 incidents at the facility in the last five years, but he has requested volunteer fire department logs that provide more detail.

The commissioner said he would like to stage an emergency drill involving the plant "sometime in 1990."

Meanwhile, representatives of the company, the DEC, the town, residents and businessmen are scheduled to meet Thursday to go over details of the company's request to renew its permit to operate a hazardous-waste facility.

Administrative Law Judge William Dickenson, who conducted a preliminary hearing on the application, directed the parties to determine whether the permit is subject to a state requirement for preparing an environmental-impact statement.

"If this permit involves any expansion of the facility or any increase in types of chemicals to be nspection
treated, then it would come under the state Environmental Quality Review Act, and an impact assessment would be necessary," Dickenson said in a telephone interview at his DEC office in Albany.

"If it does, then I will hold up on any further hearings until BDT prepares the environmental-impact statement," he said.

Both county and state environmental officials have given the plant generally good marks, but DEC Regional Director John J. Spagnoli said that because there have been two fires in the last two years, health and safety issues are a concern.

He added, however, that the most recent fire was extinguished by plant employees without assistance from the fire company.

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