West Fertilizer, Off the Grid: The Problem of Unidentified Chemical Facilities

 
9781495934490: West Fertilizer, Off the Grid: The Problem of Unidentified Chemical Facilities
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The April 17, 2013 explosion at the West Fertilizer plant in West, Texas was most likely not the result of terrorist activity or foul play. Therefore, the Chemical Facility's Antiterrorism Standards, CFATS, was not directly implicated. The tragic incident did reveal a disturbing fact, a fact about the CFATS program itself. There are literally thousands of facilities across the country that store or handle threshold quantities of high-risk chemicals that have gone under the radar at the Department of Homeland Security. The preliminary findings of the investigation at West, Texas by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board showed that the explosion killed at least 14 people and injured more than 200 others, severely damaged or destroyed nearly 200 homes, three nearby schools, a nursing home, and an apartment complex. According to the Chemical Safety Board, the fire at the facility detonated about 30 tons of an ammonium nitrate. The report states clearly the real-life ramifications of the inability to identify where the dangerous chemicals are stored and of the conditions.

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