Community listening session on Husky refinery fire aims to dispe - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Community listening session on Husky refinery fire aims to dispel concerns

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With several questions still lingering for many in the Twin Ports community, people had a chance to discuss the explosion at the Husky Refinery on Monday.

The UW-Extension hosted the listening session, which started out with a few brief presentations from elected officials and public agencies, at Superior Middle School. That includes Mayor Jim Paine, Senator Janet Bewley (D-Ashland), and representatives from the DNR and public health departments.

Husky energy had representatives at the meeting, but they did not speak, and were only there to listen to public comments.

Those who did present mainly covered the response to the explosion and fire, and the ongoing work being done weeks later.

Despite the lineup of several prominent figures, the listening session was intended to be more about public input.

"You know this has really been about listening - listening to the community," says James Anderson, community and economic development educator with UW-Extension. "We've asked our two agencies and our elected officials to give very brief [presentations], within 20-25 minutes we want to be breaking out into twelve facilitated groups."

In those twelve small groups attendees were asked if they had concerns, ideas, or questions regarding three topics following the fire. Those three topics were the environment, Husky Energy, and emergency services and government response.

Members of the public were not invited to address the group as a whole, but that didn't stop some from voicing their opinions.

"You have compiled people together to provide information directly to Husky, so that they can use it to suppress further...information. Unacceptable. I will not stand," shouted one man from the crowd before storming out of the room.

Most people, however, answered the questions and discussed the topics at hand in small groups. 

Their comments and questions will be collected by the UW-Extension and published at a later date.

Superior community members with lingering concerns are urged to attend a listening session Monday night.

The session will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Monday evening in the event center/cafeteria of Superior Middle School. 

Officials who have been invited to attend include elected officials in Superior, as well as the environmental agencies who responded to the fire. 

If you have questions regarding the listening session, you're asked to contact community and economic development educator James Anderson by e-mail, or by phone at 715-395-1547. 

More information on the upcoming session can be found by clicking here

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