The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Breaking News


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

Text Only
  • 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

  • No one should let ‘no’ stand in way of accomplishing their goals

    “No” – a word that is so simple, yet so powerful when used in answering a question. This two-lettered word can create a world of hurt for someone who has big ambitions and is denied the opportunity to see their goals flourish.

    May 20, 2014

Featured Ads

What's been the primary cause of the Texas Rangers' poor first half of the 2014 baseball season?

Too many injuries
The loss of Nolan Ryan in the front office
Questionable decisions by general manager Jon Daniels
On-field decisions by manager Ron Washington
Key players just aren't producing
All of the above
     View Results
Must Read

See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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