Skip to main content

View Diary: Just how bad was the safety equipment at Texas fertilizer plant? (136 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I routinely (17+ / 0-)

    brought representatives of the (Fire) Sprinkler Fitter's union to public hearings on large industrial facilities to provide expert discussion of preventative fire control measures. We  were routinely treated like dirt.

    I particularily remember one hearing where the plant proponents sat just behind us, quietly muttering filthy insults at us, talking about my mother, etc.

    I tried to keep breathing and not jump up and take a swing at one of them.

    That particular Georgia biofuels plant, near Albany, eventually did catch fire and explode.

    You often also need to have the local fire department stocked with fire suppression foam, and special ladder equipment so that you can get above the tallest structure  on the site and spray water/foam down onto the fire.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:30:55 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I would believe that. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gfre, 6412093

      The thing is, when it comes to the people building and operating a facility the only thing you can hold them to is what is in the code.

      Plenty of operators go beyond the minimum requirements, but after a certain point whatever measures they take are just a product of their own appetite for risk.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:19:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this (6+ / 0-)
        Plenty of operators go beyond the minimum requirements, but after a certain point whatever measures they take are just a product of their own appetite for risk.
        Of course, that's their appetite for someone else's ultimate risk. Were any operators on site when the fire started? When the explosion happened? Did the people who worked there understand the risk someone else decided they should take?

        Yes, the higher-ups may have been taking a financial risk, but I'm thinking the workers themselves had no idea of the safety issues.

        I am perpetually amazed at the number of people who refuse to analyze risk and then pay the cost to mitigate it. They all seem to think nothing bad will ever happen, that regulations are dreamed up solely to irritate and impoverish them.

        "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

        by gfre on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:48:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Of course there is no 'local fire department' (10+ / 0-)

      in West, Texas, just a volunteer brigade that probably buys new equipment with funds raised at barbeque tents and bingo games.  Lots of those good community people paid with their lives for the corporate negligence that put this giant, unprotected bomb in their town.

      "We have to remain constantly vigilant to prevent raids by those who would selfishly exploit our common heritage for their private gain." Harry Truman

      by Helena Handbag on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:54:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If they are like our VFD (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093, Penny GC

        they buy used equipment from larger cities or big ranches that have just bought new.  We could never fry enough catfish or sell enough snow cones at the rodeo to buy a new truck.  Plus, around here we need all the vehicles up-armored for grass fires.  

        Even used ones are quite pricey.

        The truth always matters.

        by texasmom on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:05:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The plants I opposed (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          texasmom, Silvia Nightshade, Penny GC

          usually needed a "conditional use permit" from a city council or county commission.

          We fought to have them buy stuff for the fire department as parts of the permit conditions; ladder trucks, pumps, foam fire suppressant stored off-site, and so on.

          The fire fighters were torn, they wanted the stuff they needed, but they knew the local powers-that-be wanted the biofuels/ethanol/chemical/power plant approved.

          I lost more often than I won on those issues.

          Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

          by 6412093 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:43:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (134)
  • Community (62)
  • 2016 (52)
  • Environment (41)
  • Elections (38)
  • Media (36)
  • Republicans (36)
  • Hillary Clinton (32)
  • Barack Obama (30)
  • Jeb Bush (30)
  • Iraq (29)
  • Law (29)
  • Culture (28)
  • Climate Change (27)
  • Civil Rights (26)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (26)
  • Labor (21)
  • Economy (21)
  • LGBT (17)
  • Science (17)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site