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Senator Joe Thomas and Representative David Guttenberg Applaud Borough/State/Federal Cooperation in Chena Ridge Incident

Joint Taskforce Safely, Successfully Removes Dangerous Materials From Residential Area

(JUNEAU) – Senator Joe Thomas (D-Fairbanks) and Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) extend their thanks and congratulations to the Joint Taskforce members who successfully and safely disposed of numerous dangerous chemicals and compounds discovered at a residence on Chena Ridge.  The investigation was begun following an explosion that occurred on January 10, 2010 in a residence occupied by Dane Koponen, who was injured in the blast.

On Wednesday, January 27, Alaska State Troopers, assisted by a state and federal multi-agency team removed and destroyed the hazardous materials and explosives found on the site.  Portions of Chena Ridge Road were closed during the removal process, and local residents were kept abreast of the situation by the Joint Taskforce.

“I am impressed and thankful,” stated Senator Thomas.  “The Joint Taskforce worked together well. Their synchronized efforts across agency lines demonstrate the kind of teamwork and cooperation that is sometimes lacking in other disaster response efforts.  I can’t say enough about the good work this team has done.”

“This situation was challenging from a logistics and response scenario,” added Representative Guttenberg.  “The cooperation of borough, state and federal agencies allowed a dangerous situation to be resolved with a minimum of damage or disruption.”

Both Senator Thomas and Representative Guttenberg were briefed and kept up to date on the situation on Chena Ridge by borough and state officials.

“The residents of Fairbanks owe these brave men and women who responded to this situation a debt of gratitude.  Throughout the last two weeks, they have made the safety of local residents their number one priority,” added Senator Thomas.

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