One Year After the Disaster in West

By Bill O'Neil

One year after the disaster--critics continue to press the State to do more to prevent another explosion--such as the one that devastated West.  

"Really nothing has changed in Texas so far" said Neil Carman with the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter, who told 550 KTSA News the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has been too slow to exert it's authority to press changes. Meanwhile, Carman said one simple solution could be found in a requirement that the type of fertilizer that fed the blast in West be diluted. 

"Just a small amount (of another substance), it would render the agricultural ammonium nitrate fertilizer... it would not be  fire or explosion hazard" Carman said, adding such a move would not impact the fertilizer's overall effectiveness.  

Critics are also pressing for change on another front one year after the disaster in West--in the form of an analysis, which finds 4.6 million kids go to schools within one mile of facilities required to report to the Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Management Program.  

"Those sorts of facilities store, or use, or produce certain hazardous chamicals that the EPA has identified as particularly risky to human health" said Sara Smith with the Texas Public Interest Research Group. She told 550 KTSA News nearly ten-thousand schools around the country are named in the report--including dozens in the San Antonio area.  

"The analysis found that Texas, California, and Illinois have the largest number of children at risk for dangerous chemicals" Smith said.  

For an interactive map of where those schools can be found:

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Topics : Disaster_AccidentEnvironment
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Locations : CaliforniaIllinoisSan AntonioTexas
People : ChapterNeil CarmanSara Smith
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