The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Opinion

September 22, 2013

Risks outweigh costs

There is some confusion regarding the proposed fertilizer storage facility in downtown Greenville.

But local residents aren’t the only ones confused. It seems the authorization process for this kind of facility isn’t necessarily set in stone. Here is what we know:

— Martinek Grain applied for an air quality permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Martinek Grain currently stores and sells fertilizer out of their facility at 3001 Bois d’Arc Street near downtown Greenville.

— A second company, Mears Fertilizer of El Dorado, Kansas wants to construct a portable polyphosphate blender on the property, which is expected to emit tiny amounts of anhydrous ammonia and fluorides, including hydrogen fluoride. The blender would be used a couple times a year. The fertilizer is not flammable, and an explosion like that in West, Texas, cannot occur, according to Martinek Grain.

— Anhydrous ammonia is dangerous in large doses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “ammonia is a toxic gas or liquid that, when concentrated, is corrosive to tissues upon contact. Exposure to ammonia in sufficient quantities can be fatal. Ammonia can be absorbed into the body by inhalation, ingestion, eye contact, and skin contact.”

— As an affected party, the city of Greenville is allowed to ask TCEQ to hold a public hearing. No date or location for the public hearing has been set.

— Because the area is already zoned for fertilizer, the Martinek Grain will not have to seek authorization from the city.

— A catastrophic spill of anhydrous ammonia would most likely require an evacuation in a mile radius, according to the CDC. The Hunt County Jail, the county courthouse, City Hall and the Greenville Police Department would all fall in this zone (as would the Herald-Banner, several churches, downtown businesses and homes).

While we certainly don’t want to hinder business growth downtown, and while we understand that the risk is minimal, there is still a risk. And, considering the location of the temporary mixing facility and the potential fallout of a catastrophic spill, we believe that the mixing should be done off site and outside of the city limits.

The costs involved may increase, but we believe that the risks far outweigh the cost.

If and when there is a public hearing, we strongly encourage the citizens of Greenville, particularly those that live close to the proposed mixing site, to come out and let their voices be heard.

Do you live or work near the proposed mixing site? Send your thoughts to the email address below.

The opinion expressed here is that of the Herald-Banner editorial board. The board can be reached at editor@heraldbanner.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • School supplies, football signs of end of summer

    It is not here yet, but there are two landmarks on the horizon which traditionally indicate the end of summer is approaching.

    July 27, 2014

  • This is ... summer?

    Just sitting here, wondering what season this is again ...
    — Seriously, this is summer? In Texas?

    July 20, 2014

  • Why no to YMCA?

    Sometimes the lack of news can be just as disturbing as the daily barrage of bad news.

    July 5, 2014

  • Service members deserve our thanks

    More than two million active and reserve military personnel serve in the United States Military across the world: from just down the road in Fort Worth to the Forward Operating Base Jackson in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, U.S. men and women endure harsh conditions, potentially fatal missions, rigorous training and heart-aching separation.

    July 5, 2014

  • Texas should not have to face surge alone

    Texas political leaders recently announced an increase in funding and personnel to secure the Texas-Mexico border.

    June 27, 2014

  • Closer to Cliff than Homer on any Father’s Day

    It is Father’s Day, the one day a year when sons and daughters (hopefully) remember to thank Dear Old Dad for all he has meant to them over the years.

    June 15, 2014

  • Lives depend on how we drive

    Local roads and highways have been the scene of six motor vehicle accident fatalities over the past week.

    June 11, 2014

  • Summer’s here, ready or not

    Too late, summer’s here ...
    — The occupants of the Kellar Estate once again find themselves preparing for the annual onslaught of heat and humidity which is summer in Texas.

    June 8, 2014

  • YMCA 'ball' now in city's court

    The YMCA/event center project is now back on track, thanks to a $1 million pledge from L-3 Mission Integration. It has been more than a year since Greenville voters approved a $15 million bond to build to new Y.

    June 1, 2014

  • In just a flash, she's turned 15

    Shaking my head in disbelief once again ...
    Jaylynn is 15.
    Let that sink in for a minute.

    May 25, 2014

Featured Ads
Promotions
Poll

Does Dallas head coach Jason Garrett need for the Cowboys to make the playoffs during the 2014 football season to keep his job?

Yes
No
Who knows with Jerry Jones as owner?
     View Results
Facebook
Must Read
Photos


See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide