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View Diary: Boston, MA vs West, TX (281 comments)

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  •  There were a bunch of things related to (33+ / 0-)

    the explosion in West, that really get to me....

    Start with the red state opinion that Zoning laws are the spawn of the devil.  Whoever had the bright idea of building schools well within the blast radius....

    DHSecurity still deserves the "Theater" addition I routinely give to their name.  As I remember one of the things that its creation was supposed to bring was information sharing between various agencies.   They had over 1000 times more nitrate on premises than the DHS reporting threshold.  Yet a DHS employee said "We didn't know they existed"..  The place did tell the EPA about the 270 tons of what is a regulated substance.  Yet this didn't make it to DHS..  So much for those vaunted "Fusion Centers".  (the bank sends your annual interest statement to both you and the IRS, the IRS checks to see that you include it on your return.  Why doesn't the EPA tell DHS "here are the sites that you should be hearing from that we know of" and get back the DHS list of places that should be reporting to the EPA)

    A half a million pounds of explosive, some sitting outdoors, and DHS didn't know about it?  A good sized bomb, right next to a 50,000 pound tank full of poison gas?  Oh yea, it was protected by a chain link fence, not even a night watchman.  (the fire was spotted by one of the volunteer FD that happened to drive past it, there wasn't anyone on the actual premises, or apparently a fire alarm).  I suggest that the DHS be instructed to get a phone book, and schedule a visit to every place listed under "chemicals, agricultural, manufacturing or distribution" that isn't already sending in their paperwork.

    Ok, the EPA was told of the presence of the bomb.  They presumably also saw the dangerous chemical plan they submitted (no explosive risk it said).  They didn't question why the plan didn't talk about the stuff on the inventory...

    One last thing, that says just like waste treatment plant operators, chemical distributors should be tested to see if they have ever been in the presence of a clue, or have some minimal reasoning ability - I give you this an earlier incident, that demonstrates the sheer stupidity wonderful judgement (nope I think sheer stupidity is correct) of the people operating the facility:

    Around the time of the inventory, when they had so much product on the premises, that they had to keep some outdoors, the middle school had to do a "this is not a drill" test of their evacuation plan.  It seems in addition to a lot of explosives piled up, the company had a stack of wooden pallets, and some brush to get rid of.  So they did. In an outdoor bonfire.  On the premises. (and they didn't even warn their neighbors, like say the school principal, someone at the school looked out and saw flames).

    Finally, A modest proposal:  They are already discussing disaster relief.  Soon there will be a bill in each house to provide it.  I suggest some other things to include with the funds.

    1. A requirement that places that handle dangerous chemicals carry sufficient liability insurance to cover the costs when their site explodes.

    2.  Adequate funding for OSHA - enough so they can hire enough agents to be able to give all places that handle dangerous chemicals an annual inspection/audit.  To ensure the ongoing funding of that pool of agents, the places subject to an annual dangerous chemical audit, will have to pay a fee to cover the cost of the audit.

    3.  that places that store large quantities of dangerous chemicals cannot locate within the National Fire protection buffer limits of a school, hospital, or skilled nursing facility.  With NO grandfathering existing facilities.  If an existing facility is too close, it will have to move, or they will have to cover the cost of moving the protected facility.

    4. Places that have a large quantity of dangerous chemicals onsite (say large enough to merit a 1000 foot buffer in NFPA) must be some place with a full time, paid fire department, with specific training in the chemicals so stored,  even if they have to pay for its creation and upkeep.

    One other simpler, faster, and likely as useful alternative: take one from the republican playbook:  Attach the disaster funding to the gun show background check extension bill.

    This planet needs a lot more kids who think taking a lawnmower apart is more fun than playing a videogame.

    by rjnerd on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 12:17:25 AM PDT

    •  This would be AWESOME (5+ / 0-)

      What a solution to a number of problems.  

      You are brilliant!  I would certainly call my critters and tell them to support such a bill, but I live in blue hawaii, I don't think I would have to tell them to, but I would just to be sure.

      I'm going to send them your ideas, with full credit going your way.

      I really think you are a genious for this one, and the gun control thing...icing.

      Being against gun control makes it really, really, hard to believe you are a prolife family values kind of person..

      by fromma on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 01:18:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would amend that a bit (8+ / 0-)

      To change that to the local fire department must undergo regular training on dealing with hazardous materials stored locally, and each member must be annually certified by the appropriate federal agency.

      That doesn't preclude it being a volunteer fire dept. not all communities served by them are small.

      Delaware has one paid fire dept, in Wilmington. The rest are volunteers, with some paid staff. They are all required to be trained, and the state fire school is one of the best on the area.

      •  The paid/full time (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miggles, Cassandra Waites

        is to be sure of 24/7 coverage, and short response times.  You don't have to wait for someone to drive over from their field if they are sitting in the station.

        This planet needs a lot more kids who think taking a lawnmower apart is more fun than playing a videogame.

        by rjnerd on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 09:00:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  An oldie but a goodie..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rjnerd

      “The chief blame rests upon the public itself. […]  This single accident has cost more in material damage alone than all of the supposed economics in the building department.  Laws are cheap of passage, costly of enforcement.  They do not execute themselves.  A public which, with one eye on the tax rate, provides itself with an administrative equipment 50 percent qualified, has no right to complain that it does not get a 100 percent product—and so far as it accepts political influence as the equivalent of scientific positions which demand such attainment as a high degree, so long it must expect breakdowns in its machinery.”

      Judge Wilfred Bolster, report of inquest into the 1919 Boston Molasses Disaster.

      Irony is the ultimate cop-out way of turning something you didn't mean into something you did...the last refuge of the scoundrel.-- Julian Cope

      by Thunderthief on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 08:59:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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