Home

About
- About Us
- Community Guidelines

Advertising on BOR
- Advertise on BOR

Advertisements


Looking West


by: Chaille Jolink

Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:00 AM CDT


This morning at BOR our eyes are upon the communities of Texas that need our help after yesterday's tragic explosion.

First, if you are able you can give blood at the Capitol Area Blood Bank of Central Texas, and please visit the American Red Cross of Central Texas on facebook for more information and other timely updates.

Even as of this morning it is not clear what caused the accident, as CNN reports:  

"What caused the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. was not immediately known. But its location -- next to an apartment complex, a nursing home and a middle school -- did not help matters."

As it turns out, according to Wikipedia, Adair Grain Inc. owner of the West Fertilizer Company was investigated for failing to secure a permit when a neighbor complained about an ammonia smell coming from the plant. According to the Dallas Morning News, "The business stored anhydrous ammonia for sale to farmers. State and federal documents describe West Fertilizer as a seller, not a manufacturer."

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) investigated Adair Grain, Inc. and eventually issued a permit in 2006, yet according to the Dallas Morning News, Texas officials knew that these 12,000 gallon tanks of ammonia were close to homes, a nearby school, and other vulnerable citizens. In fact one of the conditions of the permit by the TCEQ was to build a wall between the fertilizer tanks and a public road nearby, to prevent accidental vehicle collisions which can almost certainly cause explosions.  

These large fertilizer tanks are used as irrigation systems essentially, but contain ammonia, which is a commonly used fertilizer. These tanks are filled with anhydrous ammonia, the commercial term for just plain ammonia without water, which is just a compound of hydrogen and nitrogen (not the liquid from). These tanks, not unlike hot water heaters, need to be kept at a certain internal level of pressure in order stay safe.

Whether or not this tragedy could have been completely prevented remains to be seen. What seems suspect is that the permit process started through a complaint, but according to the DMN there were no public comments for or against the TCEQ permit being issued. Hopefully we will get more information and better news as the day goes on, keeping West and all of Texas in our thoughts and prayers.  

ADVERTISEMENT


Copyright Burnt Orange Report, all rights reserved.
Do not republish without express written permission.


Tags: , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Looking West | 0 comments
Connect With BOR
    

2014 Texas Elections
Follow BOR for who's in, who's out, and who's up.

Candidate Tracker:
-- Statewide Races
-- Congressional Races
-- State Senate Races
-- State Rep. Races
-- SBOE Races
-- Austin City Council

Click here for all 2014 Elections coverage

Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Texas Blue Pages

Texas Blue Pages
A career network for progressives.

Advertisement

Shared On Facebook

Burnt Orange Reporters
Editor and Publisher:
Katherine Haenschen

Senior Staff Writers:
Joe Deshotel
Michael Hurta
Ben Sherman

Staff Writers:
Omar Araiza
Emily Cadik
Genevieve Cato
Phillip Martin
Natalie San Luis
Katie Singh
Joseph Vogas

Founder:
Byron LaMasters

Blogger Emeritus:
Karl-Thomas Musselman

Read staff bios here.

Traffic Ratings
- Alexa Rating
- Quantcast Ratings
-
Syndication

Powered by: SoapBlox