Essay about West And Texas Fertilizer Explosion

1190 Words Jan 14th, 2015 5 Pages
West, Texas Fertilizer Explosion The 2013 West Fertilizer Company blast that killed 15 people and wounded another 226 in West, Texas, "should never have occurred," according to the chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (McLaughlin, 2014). The board 's investigation, released a few days after the first anniversary of the explosion indicates that the incident was preventable. It was the result of a failed attempt to take necessary steps to avert a fire which lead to an explosion. Not only is the company who owned the fertilizer plant at fault but the government regulators and other authorities are also to blame for the incident that effected so many people on a local level. The West Fertilizer Company (“West”) had been open and operating since 1962 and is regulated by several state and federal agencies, including the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The ammonium nitrate, which the company supplied to farmers to use as high-nitrogen fertilizer in the region, is a white, soluble crystalline solid. Ammonium nitrate, or NH4-NO3, is an herbicide frequently added by farmers and other users to improve a fertilizer 's nitrogen content. It is relatively stable under most conditions according to EPA and is inexpensive to manufacture, making the chemical a popular alternative to other, more expensive nitrogen sources. Ammonium nitrate permits…

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