Skip to comments.Texas Fertilizer Plant Failed To Disclose Massive Amount Of Ammonium Nitrate
Posted on 04/21/2013 11:22:36 AM PDT by OKRA2012
The West, Texas fertilizer plant where a powerful explosion killed at least 14 and injured dozens on Wednesday failed to disclose a massive ammount of ammonium nitrate ordinarily regulated by federal officials, according to Reuters.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires fertilizer plants and depots to disclose amounts of ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make a bomb, above 400 lbs. The West, Texas plant, West Fertilizer, reportedly held 270 tons of the substance, 1,350 times that limit.
(Excerpt) Read more at livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com ...
Somebody’s in big trouble.
Who owns/operates this plant?
Perhaps. But before we can say that was the plant a big democrat donor?
There was a school and a nursing home right across the street from this plant. It’s a Federal felony to get within 1,000 ft. of a school with a lawfully carried firearm but there aren’t any regulations about how close you can put an ammonium nitrate plant?
Allahu Ackbar Growth Promotions, LLC.
Some dude with last name of Adair. He better hope he’s dead, because there would be some serious jail time, I would think.
West Fertilizer Company.
Given that Democrats only got 30% of the vote in the county in 2012, it seems exceedingly unlikely that a rural grain and fertilizer storage facility is a big Democrat donor.
The owner, Donald Adair, is not listed as having made any campaign contributions either on the national or local level.
Wow, famous last name in Texa oil circles. Hope he’s no kin of Red.
I note DHS is up West Fertilizers ***, but let the Boston Bombers go 2 years ago.
... Ahh, yes, the witchhunt begins, how dare a plant report to multiple agencies and leave one of the billion alphabet soups off of the list.
DHS’s actual involvement, had the amount been reported (which, I notice, very few reporters have bothered to even ask the question, how many fertilizer plants are out of compliance with this demand...) would be to make helpful suggestions by sending out a couple different brochures on plant safety, and then require hundreds of pictures of the plant site, security layout, security equipment, etc.
But you know why we know exactly how much the plant held (and note, that the number in the article is at the maximum capacity)? Because they submitted reports for Texas oversight as well as EPA requirements. OH MY! They hid in absolute plain sight.
I’ve not taken a look at the relevant DHS regulation or how it was published, but if I was a reporter being fed information by the DHS, my first question would be: Didn’t you pick up the blue book and copy down all the addresses of fertilizer plants in the United States and send them letters notifying them of your requirement? Because the odd thing is, DHS has been quoted as saying they didn’t know that the plant even existed!
The amount of regulation that any manufacturing plant is under is staggering, and for a small business, compliance can be a full time job for half of the workforce.
The school, nursing home, and apartment complex were all built AFTER the plant.
Honestly who cares about the reporting. They shouldn’t have had it at a plant located in that area.
I guess I really did need a </sarc> tag after all...
There is also a serious issue of using water on the ammonia nitrate fire.
The fire department or did the plant management provide the wrong information to the first responders?
It's hard to distinguish sarcasm from stupidity on this board a lot of the time...
Thank you for that moment of clarity!
Billy Sol Estes
Aside from the apparent DHS violations, there are questions about procedures that lead to the initial fire and the use of water on ammonia nitrate.
Homeland security requires certain plants to comply with CFATS rules.
(CFATS = chemical facility anti terrorism)
These rules are about internal security at the plant...
people being on a need-to-know basis...
and the rules have NOTHING to so with safety...
I know this because I am certified for CFATS.
One thing I remember hearing is this was a volunteer fire dept. Who knows how much training they had on fighting such a fire?
Definitely big trouble. So big it will seem like a tsunami hit. I am actually shaking my head and marveling at the level of whoop @$$ that’s rushing towards whoever was responsible for that mess.
Does that make any material difference?
So?! Big Sis fails to report large amounts of cellulose nitrate too. /s
Tx. Attorney General Greg Abbot did look into it and the plant was built first and then the homes,nursing home, apartments came along later.
Not to be re-quoting Shrillary but; what difference does that make?
First rule in training for the local volunteer fire dept. here is to set back and watch the fire burn ,on the up-wind side
But the most critical point that really needs to be drummed out there is: Sometimes bad things happen. Having watched local streaming the night of the explosion, I couldn’t do anything but applaud the incredibly well executed response to a mass casualty incident.
Texas has long been a leader in examining incidents after they occur, sitting down, figuring out what worked and what didn’t, and then incorporating those results into planning and training. They will absolutely look into (as much as possible) the actions of first responders and come up with recommendations for any updating of training or changing of procedure.
While the feds send multiple agencies to strut and preen, I have every confidence that the state of Texas will learn from the incident, disseminate that learning, and put it into practice the next time something bad happens.
Maybe that will include bulldozing towns or schools or hospitals built next to a chemical plant. But this certainly was a low risk facility with minimal problems over the years.
Every fire fighting apparatus in the US is required to carry a hazmat guide. It lists what to and what not to put on different fires and safe evacuation and hot zone distances.
There clearly was some miscommunication, at best.
Listening to the scanner feed real time, the incident commander announced at about 10 pm that they had a rail car delivered that morning containing 200k plus lbs of ammonium nitrate.
If the company set up first, then it was an act of absolute stupidity to set up schools, homes, or nursing homes near it. However, if the plant was set up afterwards, the company could potentially be facing charges for setting up such a potentially dangerous plant near schools, homes, and nursing homes.
If there were any regulations about it then it was a violation of them either way. But don’t drive down the street past a skool with your legally owned pistol or dove hunting shotgun in the car.
Many times the best thing you can do is get people back and let it burn.
Large chemical fires, overturned fuel tankers are best left alone and just protect exposures. All you do throwing a bunch of water on it is spread the contamination and fire. The tanker or product is going to burn up or dump out regardless.
I compare that to people building near and existing airport and then griping about airplane noise.
“Sometimes bad things happen.”
And most often those bad things are caused by the mistakes of others.
The West Disaster could have been caused by human error or perhaps is was something like a lightning strike.
But, if humans working at the plant violated industry standards, the owners of the plant will have some serious liability issues to contend with.
The regulations often only regulate one way. Companies cannot build their plants near human habitation when their effluents may be hazardous to human health, but that doesn’t stop humans from being stupid and building their homes near those plants.
Obviously the plant’s 270 tons of nitrate exceeded the quantity distance formula by being so close to a town.
Did you not even read the first sentence excerpted from the article?
"The West, Texas fertilizer plant where a powerful explosion killed at least 14 and injured dozens on Wednesday failed to disclose a massive ammount of ammonium nitrate ordinarily regulated by federal officials, according to Reuters. "
“...exceeded the quantity distance formula by being so close to a town....”
No such formula exists.
You don’t know what you’re talking about.
BS. People handling that stuff are highly trained to handle it. What is the government not telling us and what are they up too? Why all of the sudden are we being attacked?
No BS to you - it does. For explosives, DoD develop quantity distance formulas years ago for high explosives based on how much explosives can be stored in a location based on how it’s stored, and the distances from inhabited buildings, roads, and other explosive sites that are in the vicinity that could propagate the original detonation.
“BS. People handling that stuff are highly trained to handle it. What is the government not telling us and what are they up too? Why all of the sudden are we being attacked?”
Do you have evidence that would indicate that the volunteer firefighters who put water on the ammonia nitrate and caused the explosion were maliciously attacking the people of West, Texas?
This reported paperwork filing discrepancy has nothing to do with that.
I presume Obama did not/will not make an appearance at a memorial serive and give one of this robotic speeches.
Interesting. You think the people on this board are stupid, yet you post here. Should I be thanking you?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.