Saturday, September 2, 2017

"No High Level of Toxic Chemical" from Arkema Plant

The Arkema chemical plant burns and the EPA says "no high level of toxic chemical":
Abigail Hauslohner, Todd C. Frankel, AND Joel Achenbach (2017, September 2).Crippled water system, chemical plant blaze, vivid examples of Harvey’s cascading effect. MSN,

Friday afternoon, chemicals in another of the trailers caught fire. The heat from the blaze then ignited the chemicals in an adjacent trailer. The two trailers burned simultaneously, producing multiple explosions and fireballs, said Robert W. Royall Jr., assistant chief of emergency operations for the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office. That left six intact trailers, parked in a remote section of the plant, each holding chemicals steadily warming and likely to ignite.

“We could see all six of these containers engage really quickly,” Arkema executive Richard Rennard said Friday evening. The Environmental Protection Agency said it was flying a surveillance aircraft through the smoke and monitoring for toxic chemicals.
The EPA said Friday night that it detected “no high level of toxic chemical.”

There is something just a little strange about the EPA's statement. They detected no "high level" of "toxic chemical."  Does this mean that they failed to detect a "high level" for any given toxic chemical?

Consider how many chemicals are listed on the company's website as stored at the site:

So, is the EPA saying that there is not a toxic level of any one of these? How is toxic defined? Is it defined as death, or the Lethal Dose? So, is the EPA saying that there isn't a high enough level of any single chemical to produce death?

You can see information on the "lethal dose" for sulfuric acid here:;postID=4955169341344687272

What about the level and effects of the multiple chemicals that represent total exposure? What combined effects from multiple, simultaneous chemical exposures might we expect?

We aren't likely to get answers to these questions given the decision to withhold information by Arkema's Richard Rowe, chief executive, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal:
Christopher Matthews (2017, September 2). Chemical-Company Executive Issues Apology About Fire. The Wall Street Journal, p. A4:

..."I'd like to once more apologize to everyone impacted by the events at our site," Mr Rowe said. He acknowledged that Arkema could have released information about the chemicals stored at the plant more quickly. But he said that the company wouldn't divulge additional details about them, or about plans to address the worst-case scenarios Arkema has reported to the government.
How audacious! The company REFUSES to provide additional details about the chemicals stored at the site and won't discuss worst-case scenarios.

The decision not to share worst-case scenarios is, perhaps, understandable, but the decision not to provide additional information about chemical toxicity and other hazards seems to me to be a form of NEGLIGENCE which ought to increase the company's LEGAL LIABILITY and most certainly demonstrates their UTTER LACK OF MORAL INTEGRITY!


  1. News video of smoke in area - I recommend reading the comments

  2. Posted by HillBillyHoundog at Enenews:

    Arkema CEO "…We've posted the chemicals…on our website…we know this is not the same as posting the tier two report… and there are good reasons for that…the state was obvious- we have dangerous chemicals on our Crosby site. We want to give the information the public needs to feel and be SAFE, BUT we need to keep the more detailed information, *for example*, the precise quantity and location of those chemicals, from those that would do us harm…
    …Secondly, why wont we share our RMP for Crosby? Like the tier two data, we recognize the people are worried and want information. We've shared what we have with those that need the information to keep the public safe and I'll say it once more…" ( )



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