United Technologies Corporation
Crisis Management/Public Involvement
Carrier Corporation responded to a compliance order issued by the Canadian Ministry of Environment (MOE) to conduct groundwater, soil and indoor air testing in the community adjacent to its facility located in Brantford, Ontario. Carrier Corporation’s parent company, United Technologies Corporation, tested for the presence of trichloroethylene (TCE) and its breakdown product, vinyl chloride, in groundwater and indoor air. Environmental testing ensued to identify the extent of the problem and impacts on neighbors.
Sigler Communications' Role
Our firm worked with UTC to manage initial crisis communications resulting from the proposed testing. We provide strategic counsel on how to respond to media requests and coverage that aired on a national TV news magazine program, as well as monitored media coverage daily. To explain the indoor air remediation program to affected residents, our client hosted an open house information meeting in Brantford. We managed a Community Advisory Group with the Brantford County Health Unit to develop strategies for communicating with lenders and Realtors about the perceived impact of environmental cleanup on local real estate. We also provided ongoing communications with residents on the progress of the testing and remediation efforts.
After learning of results from the indoor air testing program, the MOE has issued a “no further action” status for the site. A lawsuit regarding diminution of property values and nuisance also was dropped by a group of neighbors. Thanks to the comprehensive communications and outreach program, Carrier has maintained its reputation in the community and successfully was able to close the site and evaluate alternative land uses.