After days of watching death and mayhem in real time on TV, I have a question:
Aren’t the owners of the disastrous Texas fertilizer plant every bit as guilty as a terrorist bomber?
“West Fertilizer Co is a retail facility that blends fertilizer and sells anhydrous ammonia and other chemical products to local farmers. It stored 270 tons of ‘extremely hazardous’ ammonium nitrate, according to a report filed by the company with the state government. The plant was last inspected for safety in 2011, according to a Risk Management Plan filed with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
“The company, which has fewer than 10 employees, had provided no contingency plan to the EPA for a major explosion or fire at the site. It told the EPA in 2011 that a typical emergency scenario at the facility that holds anhydrous ammonia could result in a small release in gas form.
“The EPA fined the firm $2,300 in 2006 for failing to implement a risk management plan. The plant’s owner could not be reached for comment.”
Why would you have a fifty unit apartment building right next to this place, not to mention a nursing home? And what is a $2,300 fine to a profitable company? Now there are a bunch of dead fire fighters and streets of houses reduced to smoldering ruins.
But wait: The West plant is one of thousands of sites across rural America that stores and sells hazardous materials such as chemicals and fertilizer for agricultural use. Many are near residences and schools.
I find these companies guilty! I find the EPA guilty! Their disregard for human life makes them worse than terrorists, who are usually driven by a spiritual belief system or perverted moral code other than financial profit.
Thoughts, arguments, insults, anyone?