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Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:10 PM

Rachel on this now: Chemical Plant Near Houston Warns It's About To Explode

See this thread:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10141856636
Rachel on it now.
Talking about TX (non-existant) regulations and how this is a set up for disasters.

They won't say what chemicals are in the plant; No public access to this info is required in TX.
Matt Dempsey from Houston Chroicle covering the story on Rachel now.
Experts saying it could be huge.
Government saying it won't be that big.
Just two miles down road there is another chemical plant. They are also on high potential for harm list.
Worst case scenario listed with EPA is that if they rupture there would be an environmental concern and this was with perfect meteorological conditions, which we are far from right now.







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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Rachel on this now: Chemical Plant Near Houston Warns It's About To Explode (Original post)
Amaryllis Aug 2017 OP
malaise Aug 2017 #1
Baitball Blogger Aug 2017 #2
Whiskeytide Aug 2017 #5
Baitball Blogger Aug 2017 #6
Whiskeytide Aug 2017 #8
nini Aug 2017 #3
Warpy Aug 2017 #7
nini Aug 2017 #13
Warpy Aug 2017 #15
rickford66 Aug 2017 #4
Igel Aug 2017 #19
HopeAgain Aug 2017 #9
Ilsa Aug 2017 #10
7wo7rees Aug 2017 #11
TexasBushwhacker Aug 2017 #12
defacto7 Aug 2017 #16
TexasBushwhacker Aug 2017 #18
ProudLib72 Aug 2017 #21
Igel Aug 2017 #20
lindysalsagal Aug 2017 #14
Amaryllis Aug 2017 #17
Igel Aug 2017 #23
Still In Wisconsin Aug 2017 #22
TexasBushwhacker Aug 2017 #24

Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:16 PM

1. Get thee to the greatest page

this is fugging crazy - the fire folks should refuse to to assist if they don't know what's in the building.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:20 PM

2. If it happens, I can just hear the government's response.

We didn't know they were storing those kind of chemicals. No one told us.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:25 PM

5. They tell the government...

... what they have there. It's just that both the company and the government refuse to tell the people. That's how screwed up and corrupt the Texas government has been under republican control. They are bought and paid for by the industry interests.

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Response to Whiskeytide (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:26 PM

6. I def see a lawsuit coming if anyone is harmed by those chemicals.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:35 PM

8. Yes. Likely. But it won't...

... really get at the problem until the republicans are deposed, and sensible regulations are passed. A lawsuit against one company will just bankrupt them. Another will buy the plant and continue or build a new operation up the road somewhere.

And, pro Tort reform interests have been purchasing Texas judges for several decades (they are elected in Texas). They now control the Supreme Court and many trial courts.

I get a little more depressed every time I start contemplating how some positive change could be wrought against corporate/industry malfeasance. Their long term plan to avoid responsibility for their wrong doing has been pretty damned successful.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:24 PM

3. I would hope this whole clusterfuck will lead to us learning something

but sadly.. I doubt it.

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Response to nini (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:30 PM

7. I would have hoped the Fukushima disaster

would have alerted companies that rely on electrical power to keep things cool so they don't explode to put the damned generators up in the air, especially if they are on a 500 year or less flood plain.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:21 PM

13. I doubt I live long enough to see something that responsible happen



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Response to nini (Reply #13)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:26 PM

15. I know I won't.

I'm getting up there.

Yellowstone will blow before they ever bother to do anything about any of these potential problems. And that will settle this country's hash for a few thousand years, at least.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:24 PM

4. Must be too many nit-picking regulations causing this.

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Response to rickford66 (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:49 PM

19. No, it's having much of the plant under water.

"Unprecedented" means typically "unplanned for."

The new continental rainfall record (it's still unofficial, but it's so much higher than the previous one that it'll stick) was set by Harvey. About 10 miles from this plant. It was ready for something like Ike. A lot of rain, heavy winds. It's good for ice and snow or 105 degree weather for a month.

They used boats to evacuate the shut-down crew, not because they were squeamish about walking in 2-3 feet of water; it was deeper. It was also a mile or two away from the boat launch. And when they showed the rescue boats at work, the ditches near where the boats were launched were thick with mats of fire ants. This was *before* Harvey made its second pass and dumped more rain on Tuesday, pushing the total up near 50".

It's like my high school friend's father's new sidewalk. He built it to withstand pretty much anything. It met code. Then my friend and I made thermite and produced a reasonable size pit in the middle of the thing. He (and county regs) didn't anticipate civilian use of thermite in that particular suburb. Omniscience isn't a human quality.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:39 PM

9. Deregulation at work. Nt

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 09:41 PM

10. Thanks to Greg Abbott, the public doesn't have the right to know

the inventories of any chemical plants in Texas, even if they are a stone's throw from a school or nursing home.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 10:29 PM

11. Dominoes falling..........

One catastrophe after the next.....

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:17 PM

12. I'm pretty sure it's an ammonia plant n/t

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #12)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:27 PM

16. That would be deadly if concentrated vapor was released

toward populated areas. I don't like the thought.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #16)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:41 PM

18. Found it

"organic peroxides used in the production of plastic resins, polystyrene, paints and other products."
Xc

Sounds nasty. They've evacuated a 1.5 mile perimeter

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #18)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:55 PM

21. Smoke on the water

Fire in the sky (according to OSHA): https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/organic/organic_peroxide.html

This is what you get when you vote Deep Purple

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #12)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:55 PM

20. It's not.

The media keep saying that. People can say "ammonia." They have trouble with "anhydrous organic peroxides."

Haber process, under flooding, gives nothing. It cools down and reaction stops. These puppies if warm spontaneously ignite. That extra oxygen atom doesn't stay quite put and the entire kit and kaboodle starts to burn, and would even in a vacuum. It's basically a volatile organic compound with a built in oxidizer. If confined goes boom!

You can find on the web the kind of things that particular plant produces, and the company site links to a site for a product involving anhydrous benzoyl peroxide in its production.

One DUer, a cut above most, still kept saying "organic hydrogen peroxide."

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:26 PM

14. No word that anyone's doing anything about it....

Is this how inept texas government is? Seriously? They allow this problem and make no attempt to fix it?

This, after flint water?

Texans will just shrug and keep voting the same morons into office?

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #14)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:27 PM

17. There is nothign they can due. It's buried in six feet of water.

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #14)

Thu Aug 31, 2017, 12:00 AM

23. The problem is simple.

It's isolated. It's hard to get to, and you'd need scuba gear for the final few feet.

So what's the problem, right? It's in danger of catching fire but it's under water? It's in danger of getting too hot, but the water's not about 80 degrees?

The stuff self-combusts. It's kept cold because then it's stable. At room temperature it's unstable.

Cooling units require some sort of condenser, a heat exchanger. They're designed for use with air. They run on electricity. Under water they don't work. The chemicals heat up. Become unstable. Self-oxidize. Boom.

We'll see if it happens, because while the chemicals become unstable that doesn't automatically mean they ignite.

(Although it would be interesting to work through exactly how the exchangers they have would work with water instead of air. Convective currents would probably be a good substitute for the fans and the exchange should be more efficient. But I digress.)

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Wed Aug 30, 2017, 11:59 PM

22. Organic peroxides? Speaking as a Ph.D. Chemical Engineer,

 

FUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!

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