Monday, April 22, 2013


Last week's other tragedy , when a fertilizer plant blew up, killing at least 14 people, and devastating a small Texas town, has implications far beyond that area, including for Kentucky.

I've reported on such explosions over the years..and how anyone, especially government agencies  who regulate that industry, could possibly accept the firm's bland statement that "there was no risk of fire or blast" is beyond me. I can understand, though it strains belief, how a school, a nursing home, a park, various apartments would build across from the plant over the years---the plant was there first after all, when it was "out in the country." This is Texas, where minimum government is a way of life, and people don't like "zoning" regulations.

Neither do many of Kentucky's  counties, and if you think the tragedy at West couldn't happen here, think again.

With flat land at a premium, many small East Kentucky communities have homes right along the railroad tracks, where trains hauling toxic chemicals and other hazardous substances rumble through weekly, if not daily. Derailments happen. So do coal dust explosions and you don't have to drive far to see coal cleaning and processing plants and piles of dust near homes and school.

And, oh yes, what about I-64 at the West Virginia line, where it bisects a big oil refinery? I'm sure the refinery was there first. Did the road have to be routed through such a potentially dangerous area?

As we pray for the poor people of West, Texas, let's add the hope that government will do a better job of monitoring and keeping such industries safe, even if government's biggest problem is often selling local citizens on the need to have such controls in order to keep them alive. 

I'm just sayin'...

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