Chemtool pledges to pay employees impacted by Rockton plant fire

News

ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — Lubrizol, the company that owns the Chemtool, Inc. plant which exploded Monday in Rockton, says it will continue to pay and provide benefits to employees impacted by the fire.

“We are providing our full support to our local employees. Pay and benefits will continue for employees while we work through this event, and we are providing counseling support for all those who want or need it. We do expect a total loss of the site,” the company said in a statment.

“We regret the impact on our neighbors and also are committed to supporting the community. We are working to determine the best ways to support our neighbors who evacuated or were affected. We have committed support to the North Western Illinois Red Cross and the Northern Illinois Food Banks.

“As we affirmed yesterday, to-date test results do not show any health risk other than the short-term irritation one would normally experience in the presence of smoke. We do not expect any short or long-term health impacts otherwise,” the statement continued.

Residents within one mile of the Chemtool site, at 1165 Prairie Hill Road, are still under a evacuation order.

Rockton Middle School, at 6121 Elevator Rd, has been set up as an evacuation site.

Chemtool’s VP of Operations Bill Snyder apologized to the community at a press conference on Tuesday morning, saying the impact of the fire to the community is “heartbreaking.”

Officials said the company stored lead, antifreeze, nitrogen, and sulfuric acid, among other chemicals.

Winnebago County Board Chairman Joseph Chiarelli issued a disaster emergency proclamation on Tuesday, in order to bring aid to the county through the Illinois Emergency Management Act. The proclamation expires on Monday, June 21st.

A hotline has been set up at 815-972-7300 and RocktonChemFire@wchd.org for residents who are seeking relief information.

Representatives from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Chemtool said they will continue to monitor the surrounding environment, including the air, the Rock River and ground water, for contaminants.

Winnebago County Board Chairman Joseph Chiarelli issued a disaster emergency proclamation on Tuesday, in order to bring aid to the county through the Illinois Emergency Management Act. The proclamation expires on Monday, June 21st.

A hotline has been set up at 815-972-7300 and RocktonChemFire@wchd.org for residents who are seeking relief information.

The fire continued to burn overnight. Officials have said that they anticipate it will burn for several days, until the oil-based products manufactured at the plant burn off.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News Video

Trending Stories