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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:39 pm 
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Any Squaders in the area that need to bug out ?

https://www.yahoo.com/news/arkema-no-wa ... nance.html

Arkema has no way to prevent chemical incident in Texas

(Reuters) - Arkema 's North America chief executive said on Wednesday the company has no way of preventing chemicals from catching fire or exploding at its heavily flooded plant in Crosby, Texas.

The company evacuated remaining workers on Tuesday and Harris County ordered the evacuation of residents in a 1.5-mile(2.4-km) radius of the plant that makes organic chemicals.

Richard Rowe, who is chief executive of the company's North America unit, told reporters the company expects chemicals on site to catch fire or explode within the next six days. He said the company has no way to prevent a fire or potential explosion near the plant that is swamped by about six feet (1.83 m) of water.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:51 pm 
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I was wondering if they had shut down all the plants before the flooding or if they were still running.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:34 pm 
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If you read the article they took precautions, but not enough against biblical rains. Those Ark people are looking smarter every day.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:39 pm 
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Stercutus wrote:
If you read the article they took precautions, but not enough against biblical rains. Those Ark people are looking smarter every day.


Oh, I know there are precautions in place. There's other plants down there as well. Dad used to be a facilities engineer, and my understanding of his job when I was little was basically, "He keeps the plant from blowing up." I'm just always curious as to what precautions can be taken in different scenarios. For instance, since they didn't realize until shortly before that it could cause massive flooding, let alone the extent of it, they may have thought it would be safer to continue to operate rather than shut down and restart everything (always a bit of a hazard).

And yeah, this was rather hard to prepare against. I mean, who expects "Dude, we should build an ark last week" to be a necessary step in the emergency procedures?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:50 pm 
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The article I read said they attempted to run their coolers with gennies, but the gennies succumbed to flooding. What if a generator manufacturer or installer gets gennies down there on raised trucks or temporary platforms? Would it be possible to get those coolers back on in time?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:38 pm 
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Anianna wrote:
The article I read said they attempted to run their coolers with gennies, but the gennies succumbed to flooding. What if a generator manufacturer or installer gets gennies down there on raised trucks or temporary platforms? Would it be possible to get those coolers back on in time?


I imagine so but don't know for sure. The business sent up the red star cluster so I imagine they hope someone will take notice and ride to the rescue to prevent the big boom.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:59 am 
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Fox news 26 is reporting two explosions at Arkema plant in Crosby TX.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:43 am 
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http://cbsaustin.com/news/local/explosi ... de-houston

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:18 am 
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flybynight wrote:
Fox news 26 is reporting two explosions at Arkema plant in Crosby TX.


this how some zombie novels start out. :ohdear: :oh:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:22 am 
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I find it somewhat interesting that the news reports are not able to obtain better specifics about the kinds of chemicals in storage on site, and that the company has so far refused to elaborate on what exact chemicals are of concern. From my understanding, industrial sites like these may be required by the EPA (and maybe other governmental entities, depending on jurisdiction) to submit MSDS and inventory information annually to the fire departments and those records must be made available to the public. I am not familiar with how little information they can get away with in compliance, but that information is usually used for responding to such emergencies. Someone with better Google-fu than myself might be able to dig up this information.

The only specifics I've heard so far is that they store "organic peroxides" on site, which are a whole class of chemicals, but principally they do need to be refrigerated to keep them from essentially self-igniting. They could be products, or just precursors for this operation, but it's likely that they would have needed days of pre-planning to drain such storage tanks and off-site the chemicals. Obviously, that's impossible now, with the transportation infrastructure as it is, and they probably only learned that their backup plans were insufficient (from higher-than-expected water surge) after Harvey had already made landfall.

At the very least, given that the entire area is already soaked in water, there isn't that much more that could be done to keep fires from spreading etc.

Update EDIT:
From: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/explosions-smoke-reported-at-chemical-plant-outside-houston/
Quote:
Arkema was required to develop and submit a risk management plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, because it has large amounts of sulfur dioxide, a toxic chemical, and methylpropene, a flammable gas. The plans are supposed to detail the effects of a potential release, evaluate worst-case scenarios and explain a company's response.

In its most recently available submission from 2014, Arkema said potentially 1.1 million residents could be impacted over a distance of 23 miles (37 kilometers) in a worse case scenario, according to information compiled by a nonprofit group and posted on a website hosted by the Houston Chronicle.

But, Arkema added, it was using "multiple layers of preventative and mitigation measures" at the plant, including steps to reduce the amount of substances released, and that made the worst case "very unlikely."

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:20 am 
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JayceSlayn wrote:
I find it somewhat interesting that the news reports are not able to obtain better specifics about the kinds of chemicals in storage on site, and that the company has so far refused to elaborate on what exact chemicals are of concern.


Aside from your update, the organic peroxide made at that plant is most likely Luperox. That links to the MSDS sheet. It's used to make plastic resins. I got that with a few minutes of Googling. I imagine they've also got all kinds of other noxious stuff around, too. Byproducts and other chemicals they're working on.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:41 am 
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JayceSlayn wrote:
I find it somewhat interesting that the news reports are not able to obtain better specifics about the kinds of chemicals in storage on site, and that the company has so far refused to elaborate on what exact chemicals are of concern. From my understanding, industrial sites like these may be required by the EPA (and maybe other governmental entities, depending on jurisdiction) to submit MSDS and inventory information annually to the fire departments and those records must be made available to the public. I am not familiar with how little information they can get away with in compliance, but that information is usually used for responding to such emergencies. Someone with better Google-fu than myself might be able to dig up this information.

The only specifics I've heard so far is that they store "organic peroxides" on site, which are a whole class of chemicals, but principally they do need to be refrigerated to keep them from essentially self-igniting. They could be products, or just precursors for this operation, but it's likely that they would have needed days of pre-planning to drain such storage tanks and off-site the chemicals. Obviously, that's impossible now, with the transportation infrastructure as it is, and they probably only learned that their backup plans were insufficient (from higher-than-expected water surge) after Harvey had already made landfall.

At the very least, given that the entire area is already soaked in water, there isn't that much more that could be done to keep fires from spreading etc.

Update EDIT:
From: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/explosions-smoke-reported-at-chemical-plant-outside-houston/
Quote:
Arkema was required to develop and submit a risk management plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, because it has large amounts of sulfur dioxide, a toxic chemical, and methylpropene, a flammable gas. The plans are supposed to detail the effects of a potential release, evaluate worst-case scenarios and explain a company's response.

In its most recently available submission from 2014, Arkema said potentially 1.1 million residents could be impacted over a distance of 23 miles (37 kilometers) in a worse case scenario, according to information compiled by a nonprofit group and posted on a website hosted by the Houston Chronicle.

But, Arkema added, it was using "multiple layers of preventative and mitigation measures" at the plant, including steps to reduce the amount of substances released, and that made the worst case "very unlikely."


So, here is a link to the Arkema website itself regarding the explosions. http://www.arkema-americas.com/en/media/news-overview/news/Explosions-and-Smoke-Reported-at-Arkema-Inc.-Crosby-Plant/

This page also includes links to specific information about the Crosby plant, a link to the Luperox product website about items they make, information as it is coming out, and a slightly more detailed description of what chemicals they use at the plant. Obviously, if they were doing anything shady, they wouldn't put it here, but it does give more info. They aren't hiding that the explosions are bad news bears, although they defend the placement of the plant itself, safety protocols, and preps they put in place.

One item they mention is that they have an underground injection well on site. While I am not super educated on injection wells, they mention that their well was for injecting wastewater deemed safe by Texas standards. That would make me think it was less secure than one made to inject wastewater that was deemed unsafe. The company states they have no idea the status of the well because they cannot get to it...and now all the water above it (and, honestly, probably in it if the whole plant is flooded) contains a slurry of smoke and chemical residue.

I shudder to think of effect and mutations they will see in that area to wild life, especially amphibians. My only hope is that we'll get some mutant ninja turtles out of the deal. I don't really care if they are teenagers or not. Sorry, gallows humor. :(

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:06 am 
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Barnabus wrote:
flybynight wrote:
Fox news 26 is reporting two explosions at Arkema plant in Crosby TX.


this how some zombie novels start out. :ohdear: :oh:

Heck this is how some of them end too . protagonists battling the horde then ............ BOOM, The End.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 11:36 am 
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The USCSB just released a new video documenting their analysis of the Arkema plant fires.


If you are used to watching the USCSB's videos on other chemical accidents, they will typically fault a host of negligent engineering, policy, and/or management practices leading to accidents. While their demeanor is professionally reserved, they can be quite harsh, in a sense. In the case of their Arkema discussion, they sound quite positive toward the active efforts and mitigation pre-planning that Arkema took. While the USCSB still recommended that more industry guidance be created, and focus on site hazard analysis be placed on chemical companies, they didn't directly fault Arkema for the fires in any way. It helps that nobody died in this accident, and that relatively few minor injuries were reported, but that is a practically glowing analysis, compared to other investigations they've made in the past.

After hearing more details of the situation explained in this video, I applaud the Arkema facility for their efforts in trying to prevent this accident, within a nearly unprecedented environmental situation.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 1:20 pm 
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JayceSlayn wrote:
The USCSB just released a new video documenting their analysis of the Arkema plant fires.

*snip for easier quoting*

If you are used to watching the USCSB's videos on other chemical accidents, they will typically fault a host of negligent engineering, policy, and/or management practices leading to accidents. While their demeanor is professionally reserved, they can be quite harsh, in a sense. In the case of their Arkema discussion, they sound quite positive toward the active efforts and mitigation pre-planning that Arkema took. While the USCSB still recommended that more industry guidance be created, and focus on site hazard analysis be placed on chemical companies, they didn't directly fault Arkema for the fires in any way. It helps that nobody died in this accident, and that relatively few minor injuries were reported, but that is a practically glowing analysis, compared to other investigations they've made in the past.

After hearing more details of the situation explained in this video, I applaud the Arkema facility for their efforts in trying to prevent this accident, within a nearly unprecedented environmental situation.


Yeah, it's highly unusual for me to watch one of the USCSB's videos (and I've watched every flippin' one - zombies are some of y'all's things, industrial accidents are one of mine) and not have a single "WTH were they thinking...or were they thinking" moment. No engineers need to be smacked for a user-unfriendly design, no management needs to be fired because they just kept overriding things.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 4:58 pm 
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I've never watched one of these videos before. Are they all this well produced? This was more like an episode of some type of "critical incident" tv show. I just subscribed to the channel on YouTube.

After watching it, I've got to give major kudos to the ride-out crew at that plant. It sounds like they did everything you could possibly ask, and then some. Carrying 2000+ containers out by hand, at night, through flood waters after the forklift failed? Geez...


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 5:22 pm 
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I am with CG on having watched all of these. Even if my primary job isn't in chemical engineering, to the engineering-inclined they are all very educational and fascinating. And they serve as a good reminder of why defensive engineering, healthy skepticism about double-checking your work, and process planning are so important, especially at a large scale, but even with home-gamer sized projects.

EBuff75 wrote:
I've never watched one of these videos before. Are they all this well produced? This was more like an episode of some type of "critical incident" tv show. I just subscribed to the channel on YouTube.

After watching it, I've got to give major kudos to the ride-out crew at that plant. It sounds like they did everything you could possibly ask, and then some. Carrying 2000+ containers out by hand, at night, through flood waters after the forklift failed? Geez...

Yes, I think the USCSB's YouTube channel is excellent, and all of their major videos are just as well produced. Welcome to your newest time-suck, good for at least a few hours of horrified diversion.

If you want my personal vote for most egregious accident they've covered in video form, try "Iron in the Fire": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZHpeBubb_M. The first incident should have shut down the factories until they'd finished an investigation and resolved problems, and absolutely by the second time the exact same thing happened, but to let it happen a third time is outstandingly bad. I don't understand how they could have possibly still been operating by the third incident.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 5:29 pm 
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EBuff75 wrote:
I've never watched one of these videos before. Are they all this well produced? This was more like an episode of some type of "critical incident" tv show. I just subscribed to the channel on YouTube.

After watching it, I've got to give major kudos to the ride-out crew at that plant. It sounds like they did everything you could possibly ask, and then some. Carrying 2000+ containers out by hand, at night, through flood waters after the forklift failed? Geez...


They are very well done. They do have the occasional video that's just surveillance video or a PSA, but they generally warn you in the title.

Short & Sweet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqGAqwwjY7o (Oilfield stupidity - makes me want to bang my head against a wall because I deal with the litigation side of oilfield accidents)
Long & Detailed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuJtdQOU_Z4 (Texas City plant explosion)

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