Sunday, July 13, 2014





Texas playing the blame game


May 07. 2013 10:48PM
Story Tools
PrintPrint | E-MailEMail | SaveSave | Hear Generate QR Code QR
Send to Kindle


Officials have yet to answer a lot of questions about the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, but one answer — “It wasn’t my job” — consistently emerges when local, state and federal officials are asked how their agencies might have intervened to prevent the disaster.


Officials from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Department of Public Safety, Office of the State Chemist and federal regulatory agencies seem to sidestep the question of responsibility whenever it comes to them. They had crucial information about explosive chemical stockpiles at West Fertilizer Co. but failed to share it. They knew of nearby residents’ exposure to severe danger but failed to raise concerns.


At TCEQ, authorities knew back in 2006 that 2,400 tons of ammonium nitrate were being processed annually at West Fertilizer. Asked whether the explosive threat should have been a concern, TCEQ Chairman Bryan W. Shaw said that wasn’t his agency’s job.


The Office of the State Chemist monitors facilities such as West Fertilizer with large stores of hazardous chemicals.


But the fire and explosive potential of such sites? “That doesn’t fall within our purview,” said Tim Herrman, head of the chemist’s office.


No amount of blame-passing will alleviate West residents’ catastrophic losses. The goal now, however, should be an honest reassessment of procedures so disasters like this don’t happen again.


It’s times like these when Texans should look to Gov. Rick Perry for leadership.


The Dallas Morning News




Comments
comments powered by Disqus Commenting Guidelines
Poll
Mortgage Minute


Search for New & Used Cars

Make 
Model
 
Used New All
 

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just the home you want!

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just what you need!

Search Pet Classifieds
Dogs Cats Other Animals



Social Media/RSS
Times Leader on Twitter
Times Leader on Youtube
Times Leader on Google+
The Times Leader on Tumblr
The Times Leader on Pinterest
Times Leader RSS Feeds