Texas fertilizer plant blast


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 21 - 40 of total 43 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Trad climber
New England
Apr 18, 2013 - 03:55pm PT
Here's part of their zoning ordinance.

Not much there, is there? Hopefully one positive thing that comes out of this is safer location of hazmat plants like this.

Social climber
So Cal
Apr 18, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
Yeah, N Y Post, riiiiiiight!

Turns out they got it from CNN

Trad climber
Western America
Apr 18, 2013 - 04:13pm PT
Spring time field prep means all the local Texas farmers were getting their
fertilizer from there.

Tanker delivery trucks arriving, getting filled up and driving away all day long.

Big hoses getting connected and disconnected from the trucks. Pumps roaring. Nasty smells and end of day boredom and carelessness?

And maybe some spillage and a spark on the transfer pad. Woooosh!!!!!!!!!!

training video for this so called B.L.E.V.E.


Apr 18, 2013 - 06:15pm PT
WEST, Texas About 35 people, including 10 first responders, were killed in the Texas fertilizer company explosion Wednesday night, West Mayor Tommy Muska said in an interview with USA TODAY



Apr 18, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
Here's the plant with the apartments to the west.

Credit: Gene

Apartments before...
Credit: Gene

Apartments after...
Credit: Gene

Credit: Gene

This is horrible.


EDIT: It looks like the bearing walls are concrete block. More deadly than Doug Fir in a blast.

Trad climber
New England
Apr 18, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
Wow. Very sad.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 18, 2013 - 07:09pm PT

I wonder if the occupant of the vehicle that was filming
the blast was hurt badly. I can't imagine they weren't. . .

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Apr 18, 2013 - 07:40pm PT

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 18, 2013 - 10:58pm PT
Five years earlier, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined the company $2,300 for not even having a risk management plan in place and for other problems, including poor employee training and lack of a formal maintenance plan.

Last year, the company agreed to pay a $5,250 fine to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for storing ammonia in improperly marked tanks and for transporting the material without a security plan.

And that's exactly how the site looks in the sat photos - lax maintenance, no big deal.

Hopefully these facilities will now be moved up or down the tracks a mile of two in similar towns. Shouldn't be that big a deal to empty a few tanks at the end of the season. And that would be a good, productive use for DHS funds - move and secure all these facilities, institute stringent operating and maintenance standards, and show shabby operators the door.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 18, 2013 - 11:16pm PT
My town has a big propane storage facility, 2 big tanks a few stories tall. Used to be? Twas zoned such that no residential building was allowed nearby.

Then came the era of real estate greed of the 2000s. County board of sups? CROOKED SONSABITCHES EVERYONE BOUGHT AND OWNED BY DEVELOPERS.

They rezoned that area and allowed several hundred homes to be built within the potential blast zone.

Morons. And the people who bought there? Some thought they were water tanks.

Now yall might say Caveat Emptor and you would be right. But goddamnit we the people have government for a reason and zoning is a BIG DEAL.

Goddamn but it makes me mad. The folks who allowed those homes and that plant to be next to each other should be tried for malfeasance.


Social climber
So Cal
Apr 18, 2013 - 11:20pm PT
Shouldn't be that big a deal to empty a few tanks at the end of the season. And that would be a good, productive use for DHS funds

You've never been in a chemical plant have ya.

Government agencies have an even worse record about these kinds of things.

I'm just finished for now working a project for now that has been a superfund site ever since there was such a thing and still isn't close to being cleaned up. It's a tough site, but bureaucratic ineptness has interfered ever since the 70's. The technology being mandated for cleanup was obsolete 30 years ago.

At least now though there isn't acid running down the streets every time there's a heavy rain, eating the wheels off of parked cars.


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 18, 2013 - 11:45pm PT
Yeah, actually doing stretches of process control work I have, lots of them. These are hardly 'chemical plants'. It's four tanks and two light industrial buildings - moving the whole shebang would be absolutely trivial by 'chemical plant' standards.

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Apr 18, 2013 - 11:58pm PT

while it is telling that this plant was not in compliance with the EPA for having a Risk Management Plan, I am very interested to see what the Chemical Safety Board finds. Here is my prediction: This plant will almost certainly have violated some parts of OSHA 29CRFR1910.119, Process Safety Management for Highly Hazardous Chemicals (assuming there is any evidence found). This regulation is really the nuts and bolts that would help to prevent an accident.

Unfortunately, I doubt that OSHA has the budget to inspect all of these mom and pop facilities. Furthermore, the great state of Texas may have primacy over the OSHA regs meaning they may or may not have been enforced.


I have been trained and worked in this area for about 10 years and it blows my mind at the complacency exhibited by some major companies. Throw a mom and pop company into the mix and I doubt they have the resources to fulfill these regulatory requirements.

It will be interesting to see if they even have a Chemical Engineer or a Chemist on staff, I doubt it.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 19, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
I worked for USEPA Hqts for many years, designing software for the On Scene Coordinators (OSCs) and Remedial Program Managers (RPMs), and scoring Superfund sites for the National Priority List (NPL) under the CERCLA/RCRA Hazard Ranking System (HRS) rules, and doing 3D models of plume dispersion using sample management from major SF sites in support of DOJ cases against the Principle Responsible Parties (PRPs). The longer I worked there the more concerned I became for the health of our home planet.

Then I supported similar work for the BRAC (DoD Base Realignment Commission)...oh my...

Then I started doing similar work for the DOE National Labs. After working on those for a few years, I didn't worry so much about EPA sites.

Then I went and spent ten years at NASA, managing supercomputers for global climate modeling, designing software for flight controllers managing the International Space Station, and as a member of the systems engineering team for returning to the moon and on towards Mars. Quoting senior astronaut John Young (two Gemini missions, two Apollo missions to the moon, first person to fly the Space Shuttle): "We have to get off this planet, and we have to get off fast!"

I met with an astronaut who had just returned from a six-month tour as commander of the International Space Station. He commented that the main thing we have learned on the ISS is that we don't know how to make a life support system work. I replied that is also the main thing we have learned so far on Planet Earth (which actually should be named Planet Water).

No wonder people pray for miracles...

Social climber
Apr 20, 2013 - 09:22am PT
hey there say, folks...

was very sad to hear about this...
being from south texas, for a good part of my life,
i understood it was 'town should not have built there situation'--
from a few situations i have seen, in the past,
there, but sure wondered WHY no one understood the danger :O

thanks for sharing all the various information...
very sad, :(

condolences and prayers for the family and loved ones...

Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Apr 20, 2013 - 10:35am PT
With the government budget cuts, I am afraid we will see more hazardous disasters. Without constant presure and supervision people get too relaxed. I work (as a biochemist) around dangerous agents and have seen it many times. We have safety trainings periodically, and right after the training people obay the safety rules. After a few months everybody gets relaxed and safety rules get compromised.

If something bad may happen, it will happen.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 20, 2013 - 10:51am PT

No room for excuses, someone's to blame, but the human race continues.

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Apr 20, 2013 - 11:03am PT
We don't need all those onerous Federal Government safety regulations and pesky inspectors making life tough on our wonderful and oh so Patriotic "Job Creators". Yeah Right!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 20, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Don't see what all the fuss is about, afterall, it happened in Texas.


Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Apr 20, 2013 - 11:30am PT
Exactly Locker. Can you just imagine if the need to comply with those public safety regulations put a dent in Corporate profits or worse yet reduced the size of CEO bonuses? Oh the Horror, oh the HUMANITY! Free Market uber alles.
Messages 21 - 40 of total 43 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews