Archive for dangerous

Fracking could lead to demand for more potentially explosive ammonia factories


what the frack sign Via The

So much madness, so little time.

The last safety “inspection of the West fertilizer plant happened in– 1985.” Because, you know, fertilizer components aren't flammable and dangerous and don't require any regulation whatsoever. Nor are ingredients such as ammonium nitrate ever used in, say, domestic terrorist attacks like, oh I dunno, the Oklahoma City bombing.

Nor do they ever explode.

Nor do they pollute the air with noxious fumes when they never explode.

Nor do those explosions that never happen ever kill people.

So, of course, no forward-looking country with clear-thinking leaders would ever consider exposing its citizens to even more noxious ammonia factories. Nor would they encourage any powerful corporations to engage in any undertakings that would rely on chemicals that could easily pollute and ignite the way the plant in West, Texas did.


The U.S. could soon be home to a lot more ammonia factories — not a comforting thought after a deadly explosion at an ammonia fertilizer plant in Texas on Wednesday evening. You can blame the fracking boom. [...]

Australian company Incitec Pivot this week announced [PDF] that it will be building a hulking new $850 million ammonia facility in Waggaman, La., just outside New Orleans. [...]

U.S.-based Mosaic announced in December that it may build a $700 million ammonia plant in St. James Parish, La. U.S.-based CHS Inc. said in September that it would construct a $1.2 billion ammonia plant in North Dakota. Also in September, Egypt’s largest company, Orascom Construction, said it would spend $1.4 billion to build a fertilizer plant in Iowa.

Well, erm, okay, but surely ammonia production has a good safety record overall, and the Texas disaster was just an anomaly. Right?

The history of ammonia production and storage is littered with spectacular accidents.

Oh, and there's this:

The Dallas Morning News reports that the Texas fertilizer plant that exploded Wednesday night told the Environmental Protection Agency and local public safety officials that it presented "no risk of fire or explosion."

They lied to the EPA and were not in compliance with EPA regulations (EPA regulations do not allow felony violations of 18 USC 1001). If the company was in compliance with EPA regulations, then the 540,000 lbs of the explosive ammonium nitrate, stored at the facility, would not have blown up.

"The EPA said the company corrected the deficiencies and filed an updated plan in 2011. It said it now complies with EPA regulations."

Now think about all those impending new ammonia facilities. What could possibly go wrong?

All our posts on the environmental rapes perpetrated by frackers can be found here (scroll).

forward off cliff


UPDATED: Two people accidentally shot at gun show honoring Gun Appreciation Day


safety first

First a security guard leaves gun unattended in restroom at K-8 charter school, and now this.

At a North Carolina gun show intended to honor (snark) Gun Appreciation Day, two people were accidentally shot, and the show was shut down. It will, however, continue tomorrow sans private gun sales.

Having a few gun safety issues, firearm zealots? Yay, Gun Appreciation Day! Yay, guns! Family fun! But of course, I'm sure these people grew up around guns and knew exactly what they were doing.



Raleigh, N.C. — Officials said the Dixie Gun and Knife Show will continue Sunday without private gun sales after three people, including a retired sheriff's deputy, were injured Saturday when a gun brought in by a patron who planned to sell it accidentally discharged.

I hate when that happens

H/t: Mediaite ("Two People Accidentally Shot At Gun Show In Honor Of Gun Appreciation Day")

UPDATE (h/t: @Wilson46201 ):

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - A person who was loading a gun outside of the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show at the State Fairgrounds was accidentally shot when his gun discharged Saturday afternoon.

And the hits keep on comin'... literally.

Oops: 4 People Shot At 3 Different Gun Shows On Gun Appreciation Day


Security guard leaves gun unattended in restroom at K-8 charter school


gun boy child smaller

Here's the bad news: A security officer at a charter school in Michigan that serves kindergarten through eighth graders left his gun in one of the school bathrooms.

Here's the good news: It wasn't loaded.

Here's the bad news: He was seriously careless.

Here's the good news: Nobody got hurt.

Here's the bad news: There are too many firearm "mishaps" involving careless, stupid, unskilled, inexperienced, drunk, well-meaning-but-incompetent, hostile, or otherwise reckless gun owners.


Lapeer, MI -- A security officer at a Lapeer charter school left a firearm unattended in a school bathroom on Monday, Jan. 14, a school official said.

The security officer "made a breach in security protocol" and left an unloaded weapon in a restroom "for a few moments," said Chatfield School Director Matt Young. Young said the school has been in contact with local authorities about the matter and wouldn't discuss any possible repercussion for the officer, calling it "a personnel matter."


This man was there to protect students. Instead, he put them in potential danger. If the gun had been loaded and a child had found it in those "few moments," it could have been disastrous. Thankfully, none of that happened... this time.

More guns are not the answer.



Mining sand for fracking is turning Wisconsin farmland owners against each other


Several months ago I posted Let’s get the truth about fracking, and if you haven't watched Gasland yet, please do that asap.

Fracking is causing even more problems these days, this time in Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and northwestern Illinois.  Those are states in which sand formations are most prevalent, sand that the oil and gas industries need in their endless quest for profits by way of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). 

But in Wisconsin, it's pitting farmland owners who prioritize employment and royalties for land usage against those who are distraught over the potential negative health problems due to elevated concentrations of small sand particulates from airborne dust, along with concerns about high water usage required for fracking, and, of course, the usual environmental damage.

Via the L.A. Times:

The rapid expansion of sand mining through the quiet of western Wisconsin has raised fears among some residents and hope in others, often pitting neighbors against one another, just as fracking has done elsewhere [...]

High-volume hydraulic fracturing involves shooting millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals underground to crack shale formations and unlock oil and gas. The sand props open the fissures, and hydrocarbons flow through the porous sand up the well.

Residents worry about winds blowing around the sand from outdoor piles, resulting in respiratory problems from inhaling the dust.

One cattle farmer and anti-mining activist said, "Individual rights end when you start affecting others' health and welfare."

The companies that build the plants that process the sand pay tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes. Supporters feel that the payoff for Wisconsin is jobs, and for the country, cheap energy. They seem to be ignoring this "payoff":

Western Wisconsinites worry that airborne dust, or crystalline silica, as it is known, can lead to a potentially deadly respiratory ailment called silicosis. Research has shown the dangers crystalline silica poses on the job to miners and even to workers at fracking sites. But little is known about its effect on people who live near mine sites.

Critics want the air around mines monitored, but so far, only one air monitor has gone up in Chippewa County. In fact, air quality around mines is barely monitored, in part because of budget cuts at the state's Department of Natural Resources.

Good old Scott Walker and his GOP minions. Austerity first! Did they think about all the water needed for fracking, including to wash sand? They should. Additionally, in rural areas, mines can be built next to homes or schools.

But money talks... at least to some Wisconsinites.

One mining supporter "declined to specify how much he makes off his lease, he said it was more than $10,000 a month."

A cranberry farmer, in tears, said this:

"Fighting this just seems so hopeless... The companies just have so much money. They can just buy everybody. It seems like nothing can stop them. There's got to be better ways than this."

All of our posts on fracking can be found here.