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News & Politics News & Politics

Last Inspection Of West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Was In 1985

Posted by on Apr. 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM
  • 23 Replies

Last Inspection Of West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Was In 1985

Photo via the AP

The Associated Press is reporting that the fertilizer plant in West, Texas thatexploded on Wednesday night hasn’t been inspected by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)since 1985, nearly three decades ago. It was issued a fine on its last inspection for a violation related to storing ammonia:

Records reviewed by The Associated Press show that OSHA issued the West Chemical & Fertilizer Co., as the plant was called at the time, a $30 fine for a serious violation for storage of anhydrous ammonia.

OSHA cited the plant for four other serious violations of respiratory protection standards but did not issue fines. The maximum fine for a serious violation was $1,000.

The plant was also cited for failing to get a permit in 2006 after a complaint of a strong ammonia smell. That smell was reported to be “very bad” on the night of the explosion. Storing ammonia at fertilizer plants can be very hazardous; in 2008, the Center for American Progress found a fertilizer plant that stored millions of pounds of anhydrous ammonia in Pasadena, Texas to be among the most hazardous chemical facilities in the country, with more than 3 million people living in range of a worst-case ammonia gas release.

A day after the explosion in West, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report documenting a widespread lack of workplace inspections by state OSHA programs. After surveying 22 state-run programs, it found that the agencies had problems with hiring and retaining inspectors, in part due to low pay. State budget cuts have had a big impact, leading to funding problems, and the federal agency often hasn’t taken over state plans because its own budget is too tight. This has meant that a workplace only gets a visit from OSHA inspectors every 99 years on average, with some state programs even worse. In Texas, a plant can only expect an inspection every 126 years.

The report led Rep. George Miller (D-CA) to introduce a bill to give the federal agency more authority to intervene in state plans and strengthen fines and prosecutions against violations. The lack of OSHA inspections contributes to a high rate of workplace deaths in the U.S., with over 4,500 in 2010 alone. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already stated its opposition to Democrats’ efforts to strengthen workplace safety regulations.

UPDATE

The plant in West was inspected in 2011 by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which issued a fine of $10,100 for missing placards and “not having a security plan” in violation of Hazardous Materials Regulations. A compromise was reached in 2012 after corrective actions were taken, which included the plant admitting to the violations andpaying a lowered penalty of $5,250.

by on Apr. 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM
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Replies (1-10):
trippyhippy
by Silver Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

As the Right wingers scream for deregulation.   Disgusting.


-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Apr. 22, 2013 at 2:52 PM

More deregulation doesn't kill jobs...It kills people..

katzmeow726
by on Apr. 22, 2013 at 2:53 PM
Someone failed...big time.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
29again
by Gold Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 2:57 PM


Quoting trippyhippy:

As the Right wingers scream for deregulation.   Disgusting.


So..... we are only safe if there is more and more regulation of everything under the sun? 



trippyhippy
by Silver Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM


No but inspections ever 60 years or so is obviously not enough for things like explosive fertilizer plants and oil pipelines. 

Quoting 29again:


Quoting trippyhippy:

As the Right wingers scream for deregulation.   Disgusting.


So..... we are only safe if there is more and more regulation of everything under the sun? 





JanuaryBaby06
by on Apr. 22, 2013 at 3:48 PM

IDK if you miswrite or I misread but How does regulation kill people? 


Quoting -Celestial-:

More regulation doesn't kill jobs...It kills people..


 

JanuaryBaby06
by on Apr. 22, 2013 at 3:49 PM

This is a bit of a disgrace :/

-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Apr. 22, 2013 at 4:48 PM
Oops meant deregulation


Quoting JanuaryBaby06:

IDK if you miswrite or I misread but How does regulation kill people? 




Quoting -Celestial-:


More regulation doesn't kill jobs...It kills people..




 


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
JanuaryBaby06
by on Apr. 22, 2013 at 4:55 PM

yeah i thought thats what you meant. i agree 110%! 


Quoting -Celestial-:

Oops meant deregulation


Quoting JanuaryBaby06:

IDK if you miswrite or I misread but How does regulation kill people? 


 


Quoting -Celestial-:


More regulation doesn't kill jobs...It kills people..


 


 



 

29again
by Gold Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Well, I agree with this below.  Safety inspections are vital, and need to be done on a very regular basis....  But I do not agree that everything under the sun needs to be regulated. 

Didn't I read that this particular plant was inspected in 2011?  Seems like a while ago, but at the same time, not that long ago.  They were correcting the problems...  weren't they?

Quoting trippyhippy:


No but inspections ever 60 years or so is obviously not enough for things like explosive fertilizer plants and oil pipelines. 

Quoting 29again:


Quoting trippyhippy:

As the Right wingers scream for deregulation.   Disgusting.


So..... we are only safe if there is more and more regulation of everything under the sun? 






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