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View Diary: Texas fertilizer plant claimed it posed no fire or explosive risks (163 comments)

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  •  I had thought that chemical (8+ / 0-)

    plants that produce things like this were located with a large protective boundary around them--not placed amongst nursing homes and family neighborhoods.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 07:35:49 AM PDT

    •  Oughta build plants like that (12+ / 0-)

      next door to the Governor's mansion. Then see how many inspections get done.

      ...and who, disguised as rambler american, mild mannered commenter for a great Democratic web blog, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.

      by rambler american on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 07:37:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The plant came before the homes, etc according (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PJEvans, Lily O Lady

      to the reports I read.

      And... that video seemed to indicate some buffer zone.

      How much space do you need?
      Is there anywhere in the country that blocks off even a 1 mile radius from chemical plants, oil refineries, fuel depots, etc?

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 07:44:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There sure didnt look like a buffer in the aerial (5+ / 0-)

        photos. The old folks home looks very close (because ammonia fumes will really clear your sinuses out, grandpa!), and the residential devt to the NW (now reduced to a moon landscape) not a whole lot farther.

        •  Less than 1000 yards in some cases. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dewtx, Cassandra Waites

          The problem was no zoning regulations as the town built up around the plant.  City fathers should have kept the town at least five miles from that plant.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:15:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where do they do that? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WillR

            Anywhere?

            Most small towns I know of have city councils made up of locals.  Developers tend to be powerful interests in small towns, and people like to live near where they work.

            Not great, but 5 miles?
            That's a long way for a non-nuclear blow-up.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:23:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Five miles IS near to where you work (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dewtx

              in Texas, particularly in a rural area.  People are used to driving 3-5 hours to get from one city to another; five miles is damn near walking distance (not that anyone would walk five miles anymore).

              "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

              by SueDe on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:43:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I used to live in Texas, and, yes, 5 miles is near (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WillR, dewtx

                But...people like to live in places, and towns like not to have empty land.

                Five miles is a lot of land to declare off-limits.

                And -- you never answered my question:

                Where do they do that?

                I've driven by an awful lot of refineries in New Jersey, not to mention noxious plants in Gary Indiana, and gotten a whole lot closer than that. Closer than a mile.

                Nobody creates that large a buffer zone.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 09:43:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't say anyone anywhere did that. (0+ / 0-)

                  I said that's what should have been done.  The Texas or Louisiana or New Jersey coast might not have a choice in building a new refinery near a populated area,  but there were miles of empty land around West, TX when the fertilizer plant was built.

                  "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

                  by SueDe on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 10:53:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Some government facilities (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dewtx

              Hundreds of miles from any large number of civilians. The Idaho National Engineering laboratory was so far from habitation that nobody got hurt when they took spent nuclear fuel (radioactive as hell) and set it on fire with jet fuel. (If that sounds loopy, wait till you hear why -- they were testing crash safety of a proposed nuclear-powered airplane).

              Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

              by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 11:18:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The town is over 120 years old (0+ / 0-)

            West was incorporated in 1892 and was well-settled before that.  The plant is a bit northeast of the town proper, and the Still Meadows subdivision was built rather close to it.  But the plant had essentially no buffer space of its own.  The tanks were less than their own width away from the road, and right near a railroad track.  It was basically a distribution terminal, not a manufacturing facility.

            Given that it was distributing a high explosive, though, it should have been required to be sited on a larger tract of land, set back from other buildings.

            •  But it wasn't distributing anything explosive (0+ / 0-)

              After all, that's what they claimed, right?  

              And businesses should be self-regulating with the invisible hand of the free market separating the wheat from the chaff.  At least that's what Republicans keep saying, so this must be the best way because freedom and capitalism.  And don't even think about any job-killing government regulations.  Besides, who possibly could have foreseen anything like this ever happening?

              They just needed more guns at the plant, then everything would've been much better.

        •  Arial photo with distance marked (3+ / 0-)
      •  Many years ago a tank farm (gasoline) (5+ / 0-)

        was planned to be build across from a jr. high & high school complex and near several long established neighborhoods in Virginia. In spite of community opposition, the tank farm was built. Money will out.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:08:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But zoning is too much Gov't regulation! /nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shrew in Shrewsbury

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        —Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:27:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are a few . (0+ / 0-)

        Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

        by indycam on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:31:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Likely been there for years (7+ / 0-)

      And likely that is was built, along with the homes, before the city incorporated and was able to implement zoning and regulation.  The sad part is the majority of people here will learn nothing from this - they'll still complain about big government interfering in their lives.  You know, cause AMURICA and FREEDUM!  It never occurs to them that this intrusion into their lives is to try and protect them from tragedies like this.

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