Guilty!

Texas fertilizer plant

 

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?

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19 Responses to “Guilty!”

  1. Jen Says:

    Hi Sister! I am reading from Australia and I have to just say I love reading your perspective, I totally agree with what you said and I wonder if there will be any criminal charges filed? Being in Aus I feel a bit like a voyeur in US issues but our media cover US events as though they are Australian….because whatever the US does we always follow!
    So…yeah keep up the acerbic commentary and heartfelt insights, I guess that’s all I have to say I just wanted to show my appreciation for your blog

  2. sarah Says:

    Agree!!!!!

  3. Muffy Says:

    Your preaching to the choir sister. Amen.

  4. Suspended Says:

    Correct as always! Unfortunately, only the Japanese have the morality to prosecute malpractice, regardless of money and power.

  5. Marky Says:

    And then there’s this to further support your idea:

    http://gawker.com/5995145/fertilizer-plant-had-1350-the-amount-of-explosives-it-should-have

  6. Bessie the Cow Says:

    Guilty!!!! Fuckers!!!

  7. Andi Says:

    Agreed!

  8. David Duff Says:

    “Aren’t the owners of the disastrous Texas fertilizer plant every bit as guilty as a terrorist bomber?”

    Yet again, Sis, you and your readers forget those two little words – fair trial.

    And with only ten employees I’m not sure what sort of plan the EPA were thinking the owner could come up with apart from how to run like hell!!

    ‘Suspended’ seems to have forgotten the $zillions extracted from BP but then again, that was perceived (wrongly) as a British company so the book was duly thrown at it.

    I am tempted to ask what difference it makes to the dead and wounded that the perps involved had either religious or profit zeal behind their actions. Given that the first is a positive act taken with malice aforethought, and the second a fairly unlikely accident waiting to happen, I would have thought the difference was considerable and obvious.

  9. Suebob Says:

    This is why I was so pissed during the elections when candidates held Texas up as some example for the rest of the country, like it is what we should all be striving for. FUCK THAT. I want a better place to live, a place with less air pollution and worker protections and zoning ordinances and schools that teach evolution and sex education. Meg Whitman, when she was running for CA governor, was always blathering on about how great Texas was and how companies were moving there. Yeah, if your ONLY value is money, then Texas is great. If you actually believe in humanity beyond the bottom line, you have to do better.

  10. Madam Restora Says:

    Yes, correct, extremely wreckless. Obviously hoping nothing like this would ever happen.
    Suspended, I’m not sure how ‘moral’ the Japanese are. They are still killing whales for ‘scientific purposes’, despite international disgust, then selling this aforementioned whale meat in their supermarket, presumably for ‘commercial purposes’.

  11. Ali Says:

    I have more faith in OSHA than I do in the FBi, the media or anything else. The anvil wil fall hard. And it won’t be a circus affair.

  12. Bevitron Says:

    Absolutely. That was the first thing I thought about. Thanks for this excellent post, SW.

  13. Sister Wolf Says:

    David Duff – Ha! You want to blame this on the EPA, when if you had your way as a conservative, the EPA would have even less power and regulations would be cut back to “allow the free market to blah blah blah.” You can’t have it both ways.

    You’re right, dead people don’t care why they died, but society can distinguish between an “accident waiting to happen” and the criminal deceptions of a company that failed to report the tons of hazardous material that was improperly labeled and never registered with the Dept. of Homeland Security as required by law.

    Companies like this are the root of evil, soulless entities whose owners are not willing to sacrifice themselves but more than willing to sacrifice the rest of us.

  14. Sister Wolf Says:

    Marky – Excellent link, thank you!

  15. regularstarfish Says:

    Preach on, Sister! I agree with you 100%. I haven’t read all of the comments yet so forgive me if someone else already said this, but at least terror organizations take credit for what they do and don’t try to disguise it under a veil of “health and human safety”.

  16. CliffordGeertz Says:

    I don’t come here all that often, but its so nice to read a little straightforward common sense sometimes.
    And to that David Duff, since you’re throwing around legal terms, I strongly suspect you know their meanings. I think Sister Wolf’s orginal post was essentially laying down a case for malice aforethought on the part of West Fertilizer Co. She points out that they were on notice about their lack of appropriate plans in place for evacuation in exactly the sort of scenerio that took place. So with at least two years of notice, they chose to do nothing. That sense of absolute disregard for the lives of others creates the depravity necessary for malice aforethought. And as for the “positive act,” I’m sure you also know that a failure to act when you have a duty to act is essentially no different than a positive action.
    Sister Wolf has made an excellent case for the heads of West Fertilizer to be tried for first degree murder and while I’m sure it won’t happen, it most definitely should.

  17. Sister Wolf Says:

    CliffordGeertz – Beautifully articulated. Please come more often!

  18. Srenna Says:

    Amen.

  19. Pam Says:

    And now FEMA has said this is not ‘enough of a disaster’ to help the citizens of West rebuild their homes and schools. ‘Enough of a disaster’? Disasters have degrees? Mild to moderately annoying to rather problematic and onto the truly..uh..disastrous…I had no idea. What was that President Obama said about the country standing with you? I digress. So, oh Mr. West Fertilizer Company, please get out your checkbook and rebuild your town. Those are nice people.

    Meanwhile in local news, a scout troop raised $7,000 to help the scouts in West go to camp this summer. Not needing all that, the West scouts turned the excess over to their community.

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