U.S. House Bill That Strips States of Right to Protect Citizens Against Toxic Chemicals being Introduced; WA AG’s Office Opposed

AG Ferguson opposes proposed U.S. House Bill that strips states of right to protect citizens against toxic chemicals

OLYMPIA — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined a coalition of attorneys general from 13 states that sent a letter yesterday to the leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. The letter objects to proposed changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) that would strip states of the power to protect their citizens from dangerous chemicals.

The coalition letter is in response to proposed draft legislation, entitled “Chemicals in Commerce Act,” authored by Representative John Shimkus (R-IL), chairman of the subcommittee.

The legislation, which seeks to reform TSCA, includes language that would eliminate much of the authority that states currently have to reduce risks posed by the production or use of toxic chemicals.

Currently, federal law allows both the federal government and the states to address toxic chemicals. States have often taken the lead in acting to reduce toxic risks to citizens and the environment.

“States have long been leaders in addressing chemical hazards, including banning the use of them in children’s products and other consumer products,” said Ferguson. “Federal reforms must not eliminate states’ right to protect our citizens from dangerous chemicals.”

In the letter, which can be found in its entirety here, the attorneys general state that, “if enacted, the draft bill’s broad preemption language would effectively eliminate the existing federal-state partnership on the regulation of toxic chemicals by preventing states from continuing their successful and ongoing legislative, regulatory and enforcement work that has historically reduced the risks to public health and the environment posed by toxic chemicals.”

The central goal of TSCA is to set federal restrictions on the manufacture and use of chemicals that present an unacceptable risk of injury to public health and the environment. However, in practice the act has resulted in few of the tens of thousands of industrial chemicals in commerce ever having been reviewed by the federal government for safety.

The attorneys general that joined the letter are from Washington, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Vermont.

Under the draft bill, Washington’s enforcement of the following state laws could be overridden:

  • Ban on certain flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs).
  • Ban on the sale or distribution of sports bottles, or children’s bottles, cups or containers that contain bisphenol A (or BPA).
  • Ban on the distribution or sale of children’s products containing lead, cadmium, and phthalates above certain concentrations.
  • Ban on the sale or distribution of certain products containing mercury.

Washington also would be prevented from enforcing federal regulations and could be prevented from enacting new state laws regarding toxic chemicals even when the federal government has declined or failed to put federal protections in place.

Protecting the environment is a top focus under the administration of Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Ferguson has developed an environmental crimes prosecution program. He is working in partnership with county prosecutors and federal and state agencies to more efficiently prosecute these crimes.

[Source: AG's office]
2014 The NW Fire Blog
Posted in Awareness, Family, Heroes, Safety, Washington State | Leave a comment

Boy Rescued from Escalator by the PGFD

Originally posted on FIREFIGHTER RESCUES:

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A 6-year-old boy got his hand caught in an escalator Thursday night at a mall in Maryland.

It took over two hours for firefighters to free the distressed child from the moving staircase at the Iverson Mall in Temple Hills just outside Washington, said Officer Mark Brady of Prince George’s County Fire Department.

About 8:40 p.m., the boy’s finger somehow got wedged under the handrail at the bottom of an escalator heading down in the Burlington Coat Factory, The Washington Post reported.

The rescue crew needed to cut the escalator apart and remove pieces of a wall to reach the boy who was understandably panicked. With his mother’s permission, responders calmed the child down with pain medication.

He was removed just before 11 p.m. and taken to a nearby hospital. His injuries have not been disclosed.

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Bellevue Police Officer Terminated for Ethics Violations

The Bellevue Police Department announced today the completion of an internal investigation. Chief Linda Pillo has terminated an officer related to a DUI traffic stop on a fellow off-duty officer last year. The termination was effective Wednesday, April 16.

“This entire incident has been difficult for everyone involved. It is unfortunate that two good people have had their careers with BPD ended over this,” said Deputy Chief Jim Jolliffe. “We have a duty to the community, and the good men and women of this police department to uphold our high standards of integrity and professionalism. The department has processes in place to ensure high performance and accountability to maintain the community’s trust as we focus on the excellent service our officers provide to the citizens of Bellevue every day.”

The incident in question occurred on November 20, 2013, when Bellevue Police Officer Doug Brennan stopped a vehicle on Interstate 90 near Issaquah to investigate the driver for DUI. The driver of the vehicle was then off-duty Bellevue Police Officer Andrew Hanke. No arrest was made and Hanke was driven home by a family member.

Officer Brennan notified a supervisor of the incident after Hanke had left the scene. Chief Pillo was notified of the incident the following morning. Hanke was immediately placed on administrative leave. An internal and criminal investigation was ordered into Hanke’s actions. The criminal investigation was referred to the prosecutor’s office in December for DUI charges on Hanke. In January, Hanke resigned from the police department.

The department also investigated the actions of Officer Brennan who made the stop. While officers are allowed some discretion during a traffic stop, the officer’s decisions and actions at the scene underwent a thorough and objective internal investigation. Officer Brennan was placed on administrative leave on February 4.

At the conclusion of the internal investigation, Chief Pillo found that Officer Brennan had violated the following department policies: Department Code of Ethics, Alternatives to Arrest and Confinement (5.00.120) and False Information (11.00.175).

Brennan was hired in March of 1999. He was assigned to the Traffic Unit as an accident investigator and was a member of the Bomb Squad.

The Bellevue Police Department takes all internal investigations very seriously and issues fair yet firm discipline when the actions of our officers warrant it. Details of the internal investigation, including the specific details of each policy violation, may be obtained through a public records request at the City Clerk’s Office at publicrecords@bellevuewa.gov.

[Source: City of Bellevue]

2014 The NW Fire Blog

–> Editor’s Note:  [our own opinion & not representation of the Bellevue Police Department]

While we have been by many sources that drinking is part of the “profession” to deal with the stress you all face in your jobs, we just can’t buy that.

Several of our reliable resources have even told us they go to a function, knock back a few and are buzzed when they are driving home.

It will never cease to amaze us how in this line of work this can still happen over and over again. Please, y’all step up to the plate and get a designated driver or call a cab. Better to do this then to get in an accident and have to explain or have someone get seriously injured.  It is really not worth it but saving your own life – is worth all the glory in this world.

-LR Swenson

Posted in 9-11, Awareness, Disciplined, DUI, Family, Safety | Leave a comment

#530slide #OSO #WA Firefighter Lost Family, Dog in Mudslide Needs Our Immediate Help

Oso, Washington | March 22, 2014 around 1037 Hours life changed for so many, even those who had lost their lives.  Some were able to escape.  Some were not even there at all due to working or out of the area.  Some had lost their homes, family members, pets and their livelihood.

Help from all across the Nation and from the great residents of Washington State are pouring their love and gracious giving to those who need it the most: the residents and businesses suffering from the blockage of Highway 530.

Today, we are asking our readers, supporters, followers and everyone else in between to help a Hero in Need: Oso Firefighter Seth Jefferds.  He has lost his wife, granddaughter, dog and family home.

Please the following and please, give today.  Their goal is huge but is very doable. Give today and help make a difference in his life.

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Please reblog this post and help get the word out. We will continue to monitor their progress and do what we can to help them reach their goal. This is so imporant, because the Fire Family is so compassionate about their own. Please help today!

 

(c) 2014 The NW Fire Blog

@nwfireblog – Twitter     nwfireblog@comcast.net – Email     The NW Fire Blog – FaceBook

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WILDFIRE: Fisher Fire – Arizona

Flagstaff, AZ | Fire broke out in the Fisher Canyon area in the  Coconino National Forest, approximately from the six miles SE of Flagstaff around 1500 hours today.    Fire is currently in the same location as last year.

Flagstaff Hotshots 3 engines and other fire personnel are currently on the fire line.

Approximately 50 acres have been burned.  Containment is 0%.

Cause is under investigation.

(c) 2014 The NW Fire Blog

@nwfireblog – Twitter     The NW Fire Blog – Facebook     nwfireblog@comcast.net – Email

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Two Restaurants Closed by King County Public Health Inspectors

Pho Cyclo Cafe located at 900 Dexter Ave N, Seattle 98109 was closed by Public Health on April 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm due to a repeat red critical violation of potentially hazardous foods held at unsafe temperatures. The establishment will be reopened once the inspector confirms that all issues have been resolved.

***

Joi’s Seafood Restaurant located at 200 106th Ave NE, Bellevue 98004 was closed by a Public Health food inspector on April 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm due to the following food safety violations:

  • Potentially hazardous foods at unsafe temperatures
  • Improper cooling of potentially hazardous foods
  • Poor personal hygiene practices: bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods
  • Handwashing facilities unavailable and inaccessible
  • Food worker cards unavailable

The establishment will be reopened once the inspector confirms that all issues have been resolved.

[Source: King County Public Health]

2014 The NW Fire Blog

Posted in Awareness, Children, Family, Safety | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

King County Has Another Reported Case: Measles

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 – Press Release

Local public health officials have confirmed a measles infection in a traveler who was at Sea-Tac airport and two locations in Seattle during his contagious period. The traveler is a resident of California and was likely exposed to the measles while on a flight with an earlier confirmed measles case on March 21, 2014.

What to do if you were in a location of potential measles exposure

Most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, so the risk to the general public is low. However, all persons who were in the following locations around the same time as the individual with measles should:

  • Find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously
  • Call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between April 7th and April 21st. To avoid possibly spreading measles to other patients, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles.

Locations of potential exposure to measles

Before receiving the measles diagnosis, the traveler was in West Seattle and at Sea-Tac Airport. Anyone who was at Sea-Tac Airport or the locations listed during the following times was possibly exposed to measles:

Seattle

  • Safeway, 9620 28th Ave SW, 03/30/2014, 4:00p.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Marshalls, 2600 SW Barton Street, 3/30/2014, 4:00p.m.-8:00 p.m.

SeaTac

  • Sea-Tac Airport, 03/31/2014 , 4:30p.m.-8:30p.m.: Concourse B

If you were at one of the locations at the times listed above and are not immune to measles, the most likely time you would become sick is between April 7th and April 21st.

About measles

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes.

Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before they have the characteristic measles rash.

People at highest risk from exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under six months of age and those with weakened immune systems.

More information about measles available in multiple languages.

Measles vaccination schedule

Children should be vaccinated with two doses of the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The first dose should be at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at four through six years of age. Infants traveling outside the United States can be vaccinated as early as six months but must receive the full two dose series beginning at 12 months of age; more information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Adults should have at least one dose of measles vaccine, and two doses are recommended for international travelers, healthcare workers, and students in college, trade school, and other schools after high school.

For help finding low cost health services, call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.

Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for over 2 million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health — Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day.
2014 The NW Fire Blog
Posted in Awareness, Family, Health, Safety, Washington State | Leave a comment

Toronto Firefighters Save 3 of Their Own

Originally posted on FIREFIGHTER RESCUES:

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Raw Footage:

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=322238&fb_action_ids=10202838664181005&fb_action_types=og.recommends

Two Toronto firefighters were injured when a floor collapsed during a fire in a townhouse on Perth Avenue Wednesday morning.

The firefighters were injured while tackling the blaze at 417 Perth Ave., near Dupont and Dundas Streets. One of the firefighters injured her leg, and the other was treated for smoke inhalation.

The firefighters were working inside the building and fell into the basement when the ground floor collapsed, Toronto Fire said.

The captain was one of the firefighters who fell, but was not injured. He was able to hang onto the first floor and then helped the other two climb up, using his body as a ladder.

A mayday call was sent out, but the alert ended once the firefighters got out of the home.

The fire broke out in the basement of a townhouse on Perth Avenue shortly before 8 a.m., and residents were evacuated…

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LAFD Rescue Woman from House Fire

Originally posted on FIREFIGHTER RESCUES:

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Just before noon firefighters quickly responded to the 17000 block of Elkwood Street to find a one-story home with black smoke billowing from the roof.

A total of 32 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Poirier, extinguished the flames in just 13 minutes. The bulk of the fire was confined to the kitchen and attic.

Firefighters commenced a rapid and systematic search-and-rescue of the residence and located a 21 year-old female in a back bedroom in cardiac arrest. The patient also suffered first and second degree burns in addition to severe smoke inhalation. Firefighter/Paramedics immediately began advanced life support and transported the patient to a local hospital. Due the aggressive medical treatment by LAFD Paramedics, they were able to regain pulses.

The cause of the blaze was cooking. The estimated dollar loss is $30,000 ($20,000 structure & $10,000 contents).

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Elderly couple rescued from Caldwell Idaho house fire

Originally posted on FIREFIGHTER RESCUES:

CALDWELL — Firefighters saved an elderly couple from a house fire on Elm Street in Caldwell late Tuesday. Caldwell Battalion Chief Tim Scott said the man was taken to ICU at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center.
Scott said Caldwell and Middleton fire crews responded to a structure fire at 11:40 p.m. for a home located at 203 Elm Street. He said flames and smoke were billowing out of a bedroom window when firefighters arrived, and a woman appeared in the doorway of the home.
“Firefighters went into rescue mode, and the woman told us her husband was still inside,” Scott said.
Firefighters rushed into the home and rescued the man, who was laying on the living room floor. Scott said the man initially was aware of the fire and awoke his wife to leave the home, but he was overcome by the smoke and passed out before reaching the door.
Scott…

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