Fertilizer plant explosion levels several blocks of small Texas town

10 North Texas Sites Store Ammonium Nitrate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ten places in North Texas store enough ammonium nitrate to necessitate warning state authorities, some store small amounts while others store large amounts near homes. (Published Thursday, May 2, 2013)

    In North Texas, 10 sites reportedly store large amounts of a chemical - believed to be responsible for the West explosion - that could prompt warning state authorities.

    Ammonium nitrate is the chemical believed to be responsible for the deadly April 17 explosion at the West Fertilizer plant. 

    Nine North Texas Sites Store Ammonium Nitrate

    [DFW] Nine North Texas Sites Store Ammonium Nitrate
    Nine places in North Texas store enough ammonium nitrate to necessitate warning state authorities, some store small amounts while others store large amounts near homes. [Since this report, NBC 5 has learned that an additional location in Johnson County stores large amounts of ammonium nitrate.] (Published Thursday, May 2, 2013)

    Records from the Texas Department of Health Services show at least 10 storage facilities across North Texas are holding more ammonium nitrate than the approximate 5,000 pounds used in the 1995 bombing on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Some locations are storing small amounts of the substance.

    Officials have said the West Fertilizer plant was storing 540,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate at the time of the blast. 

    Texas Department of Health Services shows 112 locations across Texas in 2012 that have reported ammonium nitrate storage as required by law. Of those reported across the state, three facilities are located in Tarrant County, three in Wise County and one each in Kaufman, Navarro, Ellis and Johnson Counties.

    Three locations in Tarrant County vary in quantities of ammonium nitrate stored.

    Meacham Airport reported an ammonium nitrate fertilizer supply of between 10,000 and 99,999 pounds.The Fort Worth Fire Department Haz Mat Team is noted as an emergency contact.

    Dental products company Henry Schein reported an average of 10,177 and maximum 22,367 pounds stored in a warehouse in Grapevine at 1001 Nolan Drive.

    Medical supply company Cardinal Health reported a daily average of 8,254 and maximum 10,805 at its Grand Prairie warehouse at 3080 W. I-20.

    Both Henry Schein and Cardinal Health said their ammonium nitrate is stored in sealed boxes as an ingredient in cold pack products manufactured elsewhere.

    Cardinal spokesperson Deb Mitchell provided a statement:

     

    Our facility in Grand Prairie is a distribution facility for medical products.  No manufacturing is done at this facility.  We distribute cold packs, commonly used for medical applications. These cold packs contain ammonium nitrate. We do NOT store any ammonium nitrate that is not in a finished product cold pack. These packs are distributed to hospitals, clinics and also commonly found in drug stores and sold directly to consumers. We have filed all the required reports with the authorities.

     Henry Schein spokesperson Susan Vassallo issued a statement:

    We do not acquire, possess, sell or distribute ammonium nitrate, nor do we ever handle the compound in any loose form. Instead, as a distributor of health care products to doctors, dentists and veterinarians, we store and sell so-called cold packs – the commonly used product stocked by nearly every pharmacy retail outlet, doctor’s office, school athletic department and many households to treat injuries requiring a cold compress. These cold packs, which we receive sealed and pre-packaged from manufacturers, include ammonium nitrate as an ingredient. Lastly, we store the cold packs in accordance with all safety, security and regulatory requirements. 

    Grapevine Fire Marshal Randy Frisinger confirmed that the Henry Schein warehouse is in compliance with material reporting requirements. 

    The three Wise County locations are all industrial plants that each reported more than 100,000 pounds on the site.

    Austin Powder Central States is a mining company with a plant at 306 County Road 1347 in Chico reported average daily ammonium nitrate of 250,512 pounds and maximum of 399,933. 

    While another plant located at 9115 FM 1810 in Chico, Buckley Powder Company - a supplier for mining, construction and energy exploration - reported an average ammonium nitrate supply of 100,000 pounds and maximum of 150,000.

    Orica USA is a mining services and chemical company based in Australia has a plant based at 3412 CR 1590 in Alvord that reported an average and maximum ammonium nitrate supply of 120,000 pounds.

    Wise County Sheriff David Walker said all three companies are on a “critical infrastructure” list for emergency response. He said all three have been proactive about staying in contact with emergency responders.

    El Dorado Chemical Company operates two agricultural products distribution plants in North Texas – one in Navarro County and another in Kaufman County.

    The Navarro County plant at 100 N. 7th Street in Corsicana reported an average of between 100,000 and 999,999 pounds and maximum of 1,000,000 to 9,999,999 pounds, according to the El Dorado Chemical Co. site. The company also reported that the Kaufman County plant at 500 E. Temple in Terrell has 100,000 to 999,999 pounds at the site.  

    A spokesman for El Dorado Chemical Co. said the two plants only receive products by rail that are manufactured in Arkansas and do not mix fertilizers on those sites. He said both sites are in full compliance with environmental laws.

    Holcim, a cement company, reported a maximum of 90,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate stored at it’s 1800 Dove Lane Ellis County plant in Midlothian.  

    The Midlothian Fire Department says they've done training with cement to ensure its storage of ammonium nitrate are safe. 

    In an e-mail, Kevin Lucia, the Midlothian Fire Marshall, said his fire department is familiar with Holcim.

     

    I have conducted a site visit and saw no issues with storage, handling or security. The products are well inside the quarry, separated and protected with berms. The contractor that does the blasting in the quarry is very professional, organized and documented. We have participated in training with and done site tours of HOLCIM. We will always be accompanied by HOLCIM employees and use extreme caution with any emergencies, especially with fires involving ammonium nitrate, so we do not put personnel in jeopardy.

    Texas Lime Company’s Johnson County facility at 15868 FM 1434 in Cleburne reported 10,000 to 99,999 pounds of ammonium nitrate on site. All required contact and company information appeared to be included in the company’s filing with the state. 


    West Fertilizer Plant Explosion
    Complete coverage of a massive fertilizer plant explosion that leveled blocks of the small Texas town of West, TX. Click here for more.