Monday, April 22, 2013

Did Fracking Cause the West Fertilizer Explosion?

Although outsiders hear the phrase "West Texas" as a general phrase meaning "closer to New Mexico than to Arkansas," the fertilizer plant explosion first described as being in or near Waco took place in a smaller town that's apparently called West, Texas. "West" was also the name of the fertilizer factory. John Upton reports:

Does fracking cause earthquakes? How could it not? Do earthquakes make it easier for chemicals stored in factories to spill, react, and explode? Duh. But, did this happen in West, or was it simply a case of sloppy management and sloppy or deceitful reporting? Upton quotes the Dallas Morning News:

" West Fertilizer Co. reported having as much as 54,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia on hand in an emergency planning report required of facilities that use toxic or hazardous chemicals. But the report … stated “no” under fire or explosive risks. The worst possible scenario, the report said, would be a 10-minute release of ammonia gas that would kill or injure no one. "