Schumer: Industrial Companies Need EPA Help

February 23, 2012 Updated Feb 23, 2012 at 8:05 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

February 23, 2012 Updated Feb 23, 2012 at 8:05 PM EDT

Cheektowaga, NY
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer held a news conference at the Erie County Emergency Services Training and Operations Center in Cheektowaga Thursday afternoon.

Schumer says the process currently in place for industrial factories to report what hazardous materials are stored in their buildings is too complicated and often times companies don't report at all as a result.

One of the big industrial fires we all know about is the Niagara Lubricant fire that happened July 17, 2011 Schumer says knowing what chemicals were inside a plant like that before first responders arrive on scene.

Would help determine whether residents should evacuate and how to fight the fire.

"It's not that the businesses are violating any laws, it's that they don't have a guide post. They don't have a clear lane as to how to do it and how to help the firefighters because obviously they'd want it too," said Senator Schumer.

Schumer says levels of Benzene in the air during the Niagara Lubricant fire were ten times higher than the EPA's safe short-term exposure levels.

The deadline for industrial companies to file forms detailing hazardous materials on-site is March 1, 2012.

Schumer says the EPA should hold a workshop to help businesses navigating the filing process.