|EPA Toxic Release Inventory - TCEQ|
If the tragic events in Texas and Louisiana prove nothing else, they will certainly show what a sham the EPA has become in the Trump regime. Grab the popcorn and take your seats, the finger pointing is about to start. This morning I heard a Pruitt spokesman say that the Feds were deferring to Texas regarding planning and response in regards to the Arkema explosion. And don't even mention that climate change stuff.
But if you know anything about Texas, with the West Fertilizer accident fresh in memory, you will know that Texas loves its polluters and is totally incapable of riding herd on them, let alone protecting its citizens. This storm had the misfortune and temerity to strike right up America's chemical poop chute.
If the EPA does not take charge and start acting responsibly, Texas and the rest of the country are in for a heap of trouble. Of course they are in the midst of a major regulatory rollback, so good luck America! With Scott Pruitt in charge, industry is policing itself and writing its own regs and well, lord help us.
And a relatively new Texas law makes it impossible for the public to know exactly what is in those chemical storage facilities. But we do know that a lot of heavy duty chemicals have been leaked, including benzene and toluene. I had benzene related bladder and kidney cancer, it was not fun. Other chemicals known to have been leaked are methyl acetate, polychlorinated biphenyls and methanol. Mix in a couple million gallons of sewage overflows. Stir.
As Chronicle reporters Mark Collette and Matt Dempsey revealed in their 2016 "Chemical Breakdown" series, more than 2,500 facilities throughout the Greater Houston region contain stockpiles of explosive or toxic materials. Federal safety inspections are rare and our state government helps corporations conceal contents. Politicians, industry leaders and their lobbyists have been working for years to keep Texans ignorant about the chemicals and toxins that dot our landscape.KEEP TEXANS IGNORANT. Sounds like a great bumper sticker. Not a great time to go for a swim. Of course pollution is not a new thing for Houston, in April a survey ranked it the 12th most polluted city in the country, out of 228. The state of Texas ranks fourth nationally for most toxic contamination.
Rich Rowe, Arkema's CEO, is just another example. He refused to make public the plant's chemical inventory or its federally mandated risk management plan, the Chronicle reported.
Texas has over 1300 chemical plants dotting its map, just like Arkema, some containing much more dangerous compounds. Think this will be a one off?
Now word that the superfund sites are flooding. And that over a million pounds of toxic pollutants have been released during recent shutdowns, a critical time for environmental disasters.
I understand that Harvey is going to cause somewhere between 70 and 140 billion dollars worth of damage, the U.S. has 3 billion in the disaster fund, Congress is going to allocate 5.9b but the Trumpsters want to pull a billion out for the border wall. This is some tricky math alright.
Will be interesting to see if Congress requires budget offsets to fund relief for the the flood ravaged states, something that Pence championed as a Senator.
When I heard the news that the peroxide plant was going to explode and that there was nothing anyone could do I got such a helpless feeling. Don't they have redundancies built in for this sort of thing, contingency plans? Guess not. Makes me feel really secure with San Onofre's nuclear waste sitting right there nearby on the coast. What will never and can never happen, does, and unfortunately all too often.