As someone about to graduate with a degree in Safety Management I am extremely curious to find out what started the fire and what type of storage/hazcom/ safety plans and procedures they had in place. I read on CNN
n 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency fined the company that ran the fertilizer plant $2,300 and told the owners to correct problems, an EPA spokesman told CNN.
David Gray said the company certified that it had fixed the deficiencies, which included a failure to file a risk management program plan on time.
Also in 2006, West Fertilizer had a complaint filed against it for a lingering smell of ammonia, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website shows.
Separately, the plant had informed the Environmental Protection Agency that it presented no risk of fire or explosion, according to The Dallas Morning News. It did so in 2011 in an emergency planning report required of facilities that use toxic or hazardous chemicals.
The plant's report to the EPA said even a worst-case scenario wouldn't be that dire: There would be a 10-minute release of ammonia gas that wouldn't kill or injure anyone, the newspaper reported.
And I find this to be EXTREMELY interesting. I would NOT want to be a Safety Manager or management in general at the plant. I mean, fertilizer, chemicals, ammonia.. yeah there surely isn't a fire or explosion hazard with all those things present in one place. I can't fathom how they came up with that and that it wasn't looked into further by the EPA and the first responder authorities that should have that information on file in the event of emergency at the plant, so they know what they are dealing with upon arrival. I would love to see their Emergency Action Plan and their Hazcom stuff.
Sobering reminder of why I'm in school.