At the afternoon session for stakeholders, elected officials and media, Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jack Silva and State Representative Steve Samuelson are among those in attendance.
City of Bethlehem Emergency Management Director Robert Novatnack takes stakeholders through a PowerPoint presentation on the Martin Tower implosion plan. Behind him are city and state officials, the property owners’ representative, Duane Wagner, and Controlled Demolition, Inc. representatives, Adrienne Grant and Jim Santoro.
press photos by dana grubbOver 200 interested residents attend the May 9 evening session held in the Nitschmann MS auditorium.
Bethlehem Emergency Management Director Robert Novatnack reviews the exclusion zone during the presentation at the evening session as public and private officials involved with the Martin Tower implosion are ready to add to the discussion.
One PowerPoint slide details road closures the morning of the May 19 implosion.
Controlled Demolition Inc. representative Jim Santoro discusses how the implosion will happen as his co-worker Adrienne Grant listens. HRP Management is the Martin Tower property owner.
Margo Ging, an employee in a nearby Good Shepherd Rehabilitation facility, has questions about air quality in her place of employment the morning after the implosion.
Bethlehem resident Steve Diamond, a forensic pathologist, wants to know about studies concerning the long term health effects from the potential dust cloud associated with the implosion.
Bethlehem resident Ed Gallagher expresses concerns that nobody from public health was addressing issues surrounding air quality after the implosion.
MARTIN TOWER IMPLOSION
Residents raise air quality concerns
At two public meetings held May 9, Bethlehem stakeholders, area elected officials, and residents received a PowerPoint update on the Martin Tower implosion scheduled for last Sunday. The meetings were sponsored by the property owners HRP Management, LLC and included an overview presented by their representative, Duane Wagner.
At each meeting Mayor Bob Donchez introduced public officials from the City of Bethlehem and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection, and representatives from Controlled Demolition, Inc. who handled the implosion.
Bethlehem’s emergency management director Robert Novatnack emceed the meetings by presenting the power point slides that outlined the exclusion zone for the implosion, how the former Bethlehem Steel world headquarters had been prepared for demolition, the anticipated fall area, Lehigh and Northampton County command post locations, and the road closure timeline. Novatnack also facilitated the question and answer session at each meeting.
Representing Controlled Demolition, Jim Santoro outlined how the implosion process would work and what could be expected as the structure collapsed. He explained that the 21-story highrise would essentially drop onto its footprint.
A number of concerns were expressed by attendees at both meetings about air quality issues because of implosion dust particles becoming airborne. During the afternoon, employees and clientele at nearby facilities, some in or bordering on the exclusion zone, wanted to know how safe it would be to remain or report to work later on. In the evening session many residents attended with similar questions and expressed similar air quality issues.