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View Diary: The wonder of libertarian zoning laws, West, Texas edition (409 comments)

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  •  To be fair many states were very lax in letting (17+ / 0-)

    houses be built near industrial chemical plants. I worked for Dow Chemical in NH and there were homes right across the street, because the plant was very old. Now most communities take steps to prevent this, the plant in Texas was very old also.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 01:18:34 PM PDT

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    •  Or any number of rust belt cities (4+ / 0-)

      From NJ to Chicago - Three Mile Island, refineries, chemical processing, glue, soap, paper mills, plastics processing, etc.

      Ammonia, Chlorine, acids, benzene, etc.

      My grammar school was a block from a major coke processing plant for US Steel, about a mile from a major Midwest refinery, and a glue and soap plant.

      In a capitalist democracy - every dollar is a "vote" ... spend wisely ...

      by RUNDOWN on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 03:18:43 PM PDT

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    •  Love Canal, Niagra Falls (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies

      Hooker Chemicals. A school next to the chemical dump, then houses with basements by breaking the clay seal. I was there for a while.

      40 years ago.

      I had a home care patient here in Denver ~ 15 years ago, who lived across the street from a Keebler cookie plant. Gagged my way through those visits...

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 02:55:49 AM PDT

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      •  Hooker built the pit.... (0+ / 0-)

        1.) In accordance with the standards at the time (1940's)

        2.) The school board acquired the property through eminent domain and was made well aware of the dump.  In fact, Hooker required that no construction initiate on that land.

        3.) The state DOT KNOWINGLY breached the original clay seal when constructing the Robert Moses Parkway, as did the city of Niagara Falls and the School Board.

        Where is Anarchy, when you need it?

        by Boberto on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 08:22:26 AM PDT

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        •  Yup, my ex was hired in '79 out of grad school (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1

          with a brand new MS in Env Eng, one of the first batch given by Drexel, to work for Hooker. He took over OSHA, chain of custody and disposal for 200 waste streams.

          They had told him the school board basically demanded the property just to pave for a parking lot next to the school they had built on adjacent property. I suspected something like eminent domain but they just told him the sale amount was the token requirement to register the transfer. Which included the condition that the clay barrier could not be broken.

          Then the contractor came along and offered to put up HUD housing, which he built with full basements. Had forgotten the parkway, the site and clean up were all being handled separately.

          The irony for us was by that time, the clay naturally occurring there was a very high quality for environmental land fills. It was being dug up elsewhere and transported for use under liners. So even a bit better than standards of the time. In the interim, Hooker had been doing all the inappropriate disposals that all the chemistry row corps in NF were doing. Never got nailed on that stuff, just the Love Canal. We thought of it as Ironic Justice.

          The other weird piece was that the town and the employees were so damn nonchalant - other than the group of protesters. Alan established PPE needed for various jobs and situations, did training classes, had union people involved. They wouldn't wear it. Finally one of the VPs was getting frantic because EPA had them under a microscope. Alan shrugged and said he could catch them easily, but had no real authority to do anything since he wasn't a direct supervisor. VP authorized him to fire people on site for not using PPE properly.

           The memo went out. Shortly after he was walking through a sudden vapor cloud with his mask & goggles on. The guy coming towards him couldn't see through it and was too late to put his stuff on by the time they met.

           He was a fairly high union rep, been at the plant for over 20 years. The second idiot was not so high up or as long. That was enough for the rest of them. Unfortunately it didn't apply to one of the guys who loaded chemicals into the rail tank cars - while smoking weed.

          He also had a prolonged fight over the practice of taking wood scaffolding down that had served it's purpose, and the employees removing the 2 x 4 's to take home for small construction jobs... When he left he got "The last piece of 2 x 4 to be taken from the Hooker plant". (Which was actually fresh from the hardware.)

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:48:44 AM PDT

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    •  I wonder if the plant owned the land and gave (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ronald England

      it to the town to build the schools on it.

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:38:52 AM PDT

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      •  Much more complicated. (0+ / 0-)

        Another reply on this and my long comment just above.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:53:20 AM PDT

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    •  And don't forget Richmond, CA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      and the Chevron refinery. There is also a chemical plant nearby that has had problems with chemical leaks over the years. Residents have learned over the years that when they are notified, they stay inside. Doesn't always work, but they are used to it. The problem is, the alarms don't work so they don't hear about it until far too late.

      I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

      by woolibaar on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:52:31 AM PDT

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