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#285816 - 08/31/17 07:11 PM Re: TD HARVEY cometh [Re: adam2]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1084
Loc: Alaska
There is an article in the Houston Chronicle: Explosions reported at flooded Crosby chemical plant.
Company representatives and public officials are being very vague about the hazards.
Quote:
Authorities cautioned nearby residents to stay inside, turn off their air conditioning and close their windows and doors.
---------------snip------------
Yet, they didn't clarify the extent of adverse health effects on residents who breathe in the fumes. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez likened it to a burning campfire. Moments later, Assistant Chief Bob Royall with the Harris County Fire Marshall referenced Gonzalez's comparison, then backtracked and did not confirm that the smoke was as harmless as a campfire. Instead, he called it "smoke, with carbon particles in it." "You don't want to stand in smoke, do you?" Royall said. Rennard called the health effects relative. "They're noxious, certainly," Rennard said. "If you breathe in the smoke, it's going to irritate your lungs."

Another article in WaPo: Chemicals ignite at flooded plant in Texas as Harvey’s devastation lingers.
WaPo article has a bit more detail on the potential danger.
Quote:
A variety of federal agencies have warned about the dangers of organic peroxides the Crosby plant produces. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration warns that “contact of organic peroxides with the eyes should be avoided. Some organic peroxides will cause serious injury to the cornea, even after brief contact, or will be corrosive to the skin.”  It added that “many organic peroxides also burn vigorously.” An earlier study done for the EPA found that organic peroxides are skin and eye irritants and could also cause liver damage.

Last night on MSNBC Rachel Maddow said that Texas law was changed in 2015, since then the company does not have to publicly release either it's safety plan or any details about what is actually on site at the plant. The company claims that they planned for a worst case scenario, but was overwhelmed by Harvey. However, one of her guests said that there was a way that the company could have mixed in another chemical which would deactivate the organic peroxides so they wouldn't explode, but that would have meant losing some feedstock. The guest also said that keeping a supply of those deactivating chemicals on site is SOP at some plants.

As is often the case in these situations, it is hard to know who or what to believe.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#285817 - 08/31/17 08:07 PM Re: TD HARVEY cometh [Re: wildman800]
Montanero Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1267
Loc: North Carolina
"They planned for a worst case scenario, but were overwhelmed by Harvey."

I guess they did not plan for the worst case!

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#285818 - 08/31/17 08:16 PM Re: TD HARVEY cometh [Re: Montanero]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6292
Loc: southern Cal
The very worst scenario would be the plunging of a very large asteroid into the planet, probably into a body of water, and in that case,planning would be of no avail- just ask any dinosaur.

We have a situation here in which definitive data and solutions are simply not available. This is not unprecedented...
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Geezer in Chief

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#285820 - 08/31/17 08:44 PM Re: TD HARVEY cometh [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4741
Loc: SOCAL
Leave it to an archaeologist to ask rhetorical questions of a dinosaur. . . wink

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#285821 - 08/31/17 09:17 PM Re: TD HARVEY cometh [Re: Montanero]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1084
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Montanero
"They planned for a worst case scenario, but were overwhelmed by Harvey."

I guess they did not plan for the worst case!
I'm less concerned that they didn't get the worst case exactly right, than I am about their lack of transparency about exactly what chemicals are there, and what the possible effects will be. That kind of secrecy and lack of forthrightness is almost always counterproductive in the long run.....unless of course they really do have something to hide.

Smoke from those chemicals combustion is already spreading off site. Some of the original chemicals, or combustion products from them will certainly be spread by the flood waters. Seems to me that the public deserves some straight answers. More than just "...don't worry, ....it's just like campfire smoke....trust us..." or words to that effect.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#285822 - 08/31/17 10:40 PM Re: TD HARVEY cometh [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6292
Loc: southern Cal
Could it be that in this uncontrolled chemical event that no one knows with any reasonable precision what might be the byproducts of combustion? I must admit that is at least as probable that the people in charge do know and ain't talking......
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Geezer in Chief

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#285824 - 08/31/17 11:19 PM Re: TD HARVEY cometh [Re: wildman800]
Montanero Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1267
Loc: North Carolina
My comment was tongue in cheek, but also commentary on the common use of hyperbole. "We did everything possible!" "It was impossible to predict!"

I can't tell you how many times I have heard such comments. As Hikermor said, a worst case is total planetary annihilation. I don't think they went to that extreme. I would just find it refreshing to hear more precise language and less trying to get out from under the burden of responsibility.

They compound it with their unwillingness to be honest and up front about the possible dangers to the surrounding area.

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#285827 - 09/01/17 11:06 AM Re: TD HARVEY cometh [Re: wildman800]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2807
Loc: La-USA
Due to the ARKEMA situation which still has 6 more tanks to blow near where my fleet is located and my knowledge of some other plants that are threatening to blow (1 of which makes real bad methyl-ethyl killya). I'm taking my full MOPP gear back to work with me this next hitch as I expect to be around several of these plants.
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#285839 - 09/02/17 01:35 AM Re: TD HARVEY cometh [Re: wildman800]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2807
Loc: La-USA
AAR -Hurricane Harvey

Assumed HurCon 3 on Thursday (08/24) with the intention of bugging out to the North.

Assumed HurCon 2 on Friday (08/25). The power supply to the camper was interrupted since an unknown time and the camper's battery was dead. Hurricane forecast made us postpone bugging out for 24 hrs and a reevaluation of storm strength and forecast path.

Assumed HurCon 1 on Saturday (08/26). Kept up-to-date on hurricane situation and forecast. Postponed bugging out for additional 24 hrs. Determined the only remaining bug out direction was eastward.

Maintained HurCon 1 on Sunday (08/27). Indefinitely postponed bugging out plan based on hurricane forecasts.

Maintained HurCon 1 on Monday (08/28). Made repairs for power to be restored to garage and camper battery began recharging. Lost key to garage door lock. I had spare keys to the camper but not for the lock. Placed order for Aquatainer WaterBoB to replace one of two put online.

Maintained HurCon 1 on Tuesday (08/29) and Wednesday (08/30).

Assumed HurCon 5 on Wednesday (08/30). Started stowing gear. Received replacement WaterBoB via FedEx.

HurCon 5. Friday (09/01), Replaced garage door lock and made 3 back up keys. I used rented bolt cutters to cut the old lock.

Future plans: Complete stand down by Saturday (09/02) night. Some preps will remain in place in light of Hurricane Irma.



Edited by wildman800 (09/02/17 01:45 AM)
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#285850 - 09/02/17 05:10 PM Re: TD HARVEY cometh [Re: wildman800]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2807
Loc: La-USA
Some folks are returning to their homes and finding squatters or looters in their homes.
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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