Thursday, August 31, 2017

Explosions and Equivocations: SOCIOPATHS Reign in Texas

In Crosby, Texas, the flooded Arkema chemical plant is suffering explosions because operators allowed back-up generators to be flooded by placing them in ill-considered locations. You can read about the plant in this article from yesterday:
Todd C. Frankel, Avi Selk and David A. Fahrenthold (2017, August 30). Residents warned to ‘get out or die’ as Harvey unleashes new waves of punishing rains and flooding

....In Crosby, Tex., a chemical plant was in critical condition after flooding disabled its refrigeration system and two backup power generators, raising the likelihood that the volatile chemicals usually kept at cool temperatures on the site would warm up and catch fire or explode.  Arkema, a French-based maker of organic peroxides used in plastics, pharmaceuticals and construction materials, evacuated all the personnel from the plant. Harris County police were scrambling to keep people at a distance; local media said the evacuation zone had a 1.5 mile radius.  “We have lost critical refrigeration of the materials on site that could now explode and cause a subsequent intense fire,” Rowe said. “The high water and lack of power leave us with no way to prevent it.”
Today the explosions began, with local officials denying risk while federal authorities warn of toxic emissions:
Alex Horton, Mark Berman (2017, August 31). Blasts, ‘chemical reactions’ rock storm-crippled chemical plant in Texas as Harvey flooding persists. The Washington Post,

The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office reported “a series of chemical reactions” and “intermittent smoke” at the facility; a county official said there weren’t “massive explosions,” and instead referred to the reactions as “pops” followed by fire....

While local officials described the blasts early Thursday at the plant in Crosby as “chemical reactions” and not “massive explosions,” federal authorities used dire language to describe the impact of the fumes from the plant.

The chemical plume in Crosby is “incredibly dangerous,” William “Brock” Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said at a briefing Thursday morning.
But the Harris County sheriff, Ed Gonzalez, claimed whatever fumes were released were “not anything toxic” — raising baffling questions about the level of danger even as authorities sealed off surrounding areas and imposed a no-fly zone over the plant.

I have no doubt that the plant's emissions are highly caustic and may cause respiratory, immunological, and neurological effects.

I find it incredibly irresponsible - perhaps even SOCIOPATHIC - for any official to claim that nothing toxic is burning. But the logic of the sociopath seems to be the guiding ethos in this particular case.

Esquire is reporting that the CEO of Arkema refused to describe the chemicals that would be released in a fire/explosion:
Charles Pierce (2017, August 31). The Chemical Plant Explosion in Texas Is Not an Accident. It's the Result of Specific Choices. Esquire
They played a tape of a conference call on which Dempsey pressed the CEO of Arkema, Rich Rowe, about what substances were in the company's plant that would be released if the plant blew, as it apparently did Thursday morning. Rowe refused to answer, which was his perfect right within Texas' business-friendly environment....
This unwillingness to protect the public's health through full DISCLOSURE of HAZARDS is abhorrent and sociopathic. People who knowingly hide risks to the public from their operations should be tried for MANSLAUGHTER.

Residents of that area and downwind of the plume better GET OUT while they can! Your children may be especially at risk!


  1. more details:

    Crosby, Texas, Chemical Plant Explodes Twice, Arkema Group Says
    by Julia Bagg, Alex Johnson and Jason Cumming

    [EXCERPTED] Without power or backup generators running at the site, the organic peroxides stored inside nine containers — described as 18-wheeler box vans — warmed to dangerous levels, officials said. Arkema Group, one of the world's largest chemical companies, had warned Wednesday that the plant would catch fire at some point — adding that there was nothing to stop it.

    The fire on Thursday morning from one of the containers sent a plume of smoke about 30 to 40 feet into the air, authorities said. It was not immediately clear how long it would take for the chemicals in the remaining containers to degrade.

    When asked if the fumes coming from the plant are toxic, Rennard told reporters that the smoke itself is what's potentially dangerous.

    "They're noxious, certainly," he said. "I don't know the composition of the smoke."

    Gonzalez also downplayed any immediate threat.

    "It is not anything toxic," he said. "It is not anything that we feel is a danger to the community at all."

    Brock Long, administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said at a separate news conference Thursday that evacuations are based on "plume modeling," which is used to predict the geographic extent of a hazard area from an explosion.

    "By all means, the plume is incredibly dangerous," Long said of what's occurring in Crosby.

  2. See also
    Hurricane Harvey: Two explosions at Arkema chemical plant near Houston, injuries reported

  3. NOW EPA is saying no risk, according to Reuters' latest update:

    August 27, 2017 / 12:36 AM / 11 minutes ago Thousands flee southeast Texas as Harvey floods cause havoc Peter Henderson and Mica Rosenberg

    ...Early Thursday, the sound of explosions rang out at a chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, owned by Arkema SA. Refrigeration systems failed in a truck storing volatile chemicals, which ignited as they warmed, sending smoke plumes 40-feet (12-meters) into the air, according to company and public safety officials.
    After the multiple blasts, local public safety and company officials insisted there was no risk to the public outside the 1.5-mile (2.4-km) safety perimeter, even though they said eight more trucks storing the same chemicals would eventually catch fire.
    “They are going to burn with intensity,” said Bob Royall, assistant chief of emergency operations at the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office. “Most of the material is going to be consumed by a very hot fire.”
    An Arkema company official described the smoke as a noxious irritant created after refrigeration systems on a truck used to store the chemicals failed, causing them to overheat.
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement that the amount of toxic materials released appeared to be too small to present a public health concern.

  4. Burning texas chemical plant successfully lobbied trump to strike down th rules that could have everted the distater

  5. Get over it. You lambaste any technology because you have no real technical understandung. We put forth technologies so you can enjoy modern life. When was the last time you filled your gas tank?

    1. Get over what? The pursuit of risk at social cost? I will not get over that.

      It is true that I am complicit in a non-sustainable system. But that system could be rendered much safer and more sustainable if industry acted with a conscience, but as very clearly documented in this case, there was a concerted effort to avoid regulation and, perhaps, a decision NOT to neutralize chemicals at the plant after losing power, because of concerns about inventory losses(an allegation, not yet substantiated).

  6. More like "Stock Fergeson." Click on the Highlighted link of "Turd Ferguson Blog" link. Goes to activist post and Ann beck. Turd Ferguson was a supposed pronuke shill. There has not been a real pronuke shill on enenews for two years. They figure, no need to.

    1. Did I just get my very own pro-nuke shill?

      How tiresome....

    2. You might have but, with all the games that go on, maybe not.

    3. There was a pronuke shill call Turd Ferguson, but this is not it. An impersonator used for the brietbart and trump agenda.

    4. Turd Ferguson was all about nuclear. He actually says nuclear energy will help curb global warming. He would not post anything about gas tanks , like old stock would. He would also continue to argue with you about nuclear power. There are a few antinukes , like me, who have argued with old turd.

  7. If u did , congratulations. You must be stirring up some recognitions of how dangerous and awful, nuclear power is.

  8. List of hazardous chemicals at Arkema plant near Houston just posted:

  9. EXCERPT: "It's not a chemical release that's happening and I want to be clear about that," Arkema executive Richard Rennard said at a press conference Thursday. "What we have is a fire." END

    And what exactly is burning?

    More fires expected at Texas chemical plant, federal investigation launched

    y Morgan Winsor, JULIA JACOBO and STEPHANIE EBBS Sep 1, 2017, 2:02

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.