Federal judge orders Chemical Safety Board to require disclosure of chemical emissions from accidents

4XOXJXBJSUI6TMAR3BIAMRG4TA A cloud of smoke appears after another explosion at the Arkema plant in Crosby, Tex., on Sept. 3, 2017. (John Taggart/For The Washington Post)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a lawsuit filed after Hurricane Harvey, a federal judge has ordered the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to force the disclosure of chemical emissions resulting from accidents. More than 1,000 industrial chemical accidents take place every year. The biggest include the explosions that killed 15 people at a fertilizer plant in West, TX,  and the explosions that took place at the Arkema chemical plant in the Houston area after unprecedented flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
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Texas chemical plant, CEO indicted for 'reckless' release during Hurricane Harvey

  The North American subsidiary of a French chemical manufacturer and two senior staff members were indicted Friday (Aug. 3) in connection with last year's explosion at the Crosby, Texas, plant in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.   To read the entire article, CLICK HERE .
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CSB: "Significant lack of planning for flooding" cited in final report into August 2017 Arkema chemical plant fire near Houston

  Houston, TX, May 24, 2018: The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released its final investigation report into the August 31, 2017, fire at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas. In the days leading up to the incident, an unprecedented amount of rain fell at the plant due to Hurricane Harvey, causing equipment to flood and fail. As a result, chemicals stored at the plant decomposed and burned, releasing fumes and smoke into the air.    CSB Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland said, “Our investigation found that there is a significant lack of guidance in planning for flooding or other severe weather events. Based on other government reports, we know that there is a greater likelihood of more severe weather across the country. As we prepare for this year’s hurricane season, it is critical that industry better understand the safety hazards posed by extreme weather events.”    The Arkema chemical plant...
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An extinguished flame

“Do not go gentle into that good night, rage, rage against the dying of the light” Dylan Thomas   It’s hard to believe that any facility as akin to fire and fury as the Beaumont Emergency Safety Training complex could fade away more gently. A cursory search of Beaumont news sites notes not one word about the death of this historic fire training school. Granted, the city suffered a stunning blow from a hurricane so nasty its name was an immediate candidate for official retirement, al la Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Sandy. But I image if a city landmark such as the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum remained closed so many months later it might grab somebody’s attention. Maybe it stands disregarded because the place was inundated rather than demolished. Squatting next to Interstate 10, the BEST complex is free of wreckage, almost pristine, with nothing visible from a distance to suggest it...
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City of Beaumont 'permanently' closes fire school flooded by Hurricane Harvey

    Flame City is no more. Officially known today as the Beaumont (TX) Emergency Safety Training complex, the 70-acre facility founded in 1966 that ranked as one of the country’s foremost industrial fire training schools has closed after sustaining heavy flood damage from Hurricane Harvey.   Other than a notice on the homepage of the fire school website that the BEST complex has “permanently closed,” the International Safety Training Council, a non-profit organization that managed the facility has chosen not to comment.   Located southeast of downtown Beaumont on the banks of the Neches River, the BEST complex appears relatively untouched today. However, damage to buildings and contents indicates that water stood as deep as seven feet during the August flooding.   Chris Boone, Beaumont’s director of planning and community development, confirmed that the city council voted in October to release ISTC from a 30-year lease agreement to operate the...
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Texas fire departments hit by Hurricane Harvey ask for help

Sept. 27, 2017 — COLLEGE STATION, Texas —  Officials from key fire service organizations of Texas are asking for equipment and monetary donations to help local Texas fire departments impacted by Hurricane Harvey.   Texas A&M Forest Service, State Firefighters’ and Fire Marshals’ Association, Texas Fire Chiefs Association, Texas Interstate Fire Mutual Aid System, and State Fire Marshal’s Office, officials deployed a Rapid Fire Department Assessment Tool to determine needs and damage to local fire departments following Hurricane Harvey. Base assessments have been conducted on 309 fire departments in 36 counties, with an estimated 64 fire departments still to be completed.     Currently, 145 fire apparatus have been confirmed as damaged or destroyed. Twenty-four fire stations were completely destroyed and hundreds more have wind and water damage. Hundreds of sets of protective clothing, over 50 SCBA (breathing apparatus), multiple SCBA refill stations, hydraulic rescue tool and other rescue tools have...
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