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6 March 2005.
Database of 3,646 US chemical plants in 2003: http://cryptome.org/chem/chemicals.zip (Zipped DBF, 284KB)
Source: Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2003
5 March 2005. See a listing of the top 51 most dangerous chemical facilities in the 50 states and DC with links to aerial photos and maps, Eyeballing the 51 Most Dangerous US Chemical Facilities:
See New York Times report today on the dispute about withholding sensitive information about hazardous facilities:
4 March 2005 updated.
3 March 2005
News report March 2, 2005:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today announced $91.3 million in grant funding to protect and secure areas surrounding critical infrastructure and key resource sites such as chemical facilities, dams, and nuclear plants across the country. The Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP) provides targeted funding through states to local jurisdictions to purchase equipment that will extend the zone of protection beyond the gates of these critical facilities.
The location of hazardous chemical facilities has been suppressed since 9/11 despite their continuing to pose a high risk to those who live within the plumes of accidental discharges.
A now dead URL (http://www.pirg.org/chemical/states/nj.html) promised information on chemical hazards in New Jersey. Searching for this URL on the Wayback Machine led to the full PIRG archive of the most hazardous chemical facilities in the 50 states:
PIRG appears to have withdrawn this information in late January 2004, the last date for archiving "http://www.pirg.org/chemical/states/nj.html" by the Wayback Machine. Thanks to the State PIRGs for compiling and publishing the material and Wayback Machine for archiving. Checking the facilities listings some have changed ownership and a few have closed.
For suppressed "risk management plans" for chemical facilities, required by law and once online but now hard to get, and other databases on environmental hazards, see Right to Know Net:
This file and all 50+DC state listings: http://cryptome.org/chem/chem-danger.zip (1.47MB)
The State PIRG's Campaign to Prevent Chemical Accidents
|In the early morning hours of December 3, 1984, a Union Carbide facility
in Bhopal, India, leaked about 90,000 pounds of the toxic gas methyl isocyanate.
The leak resulted in a toxic cloud, which blanketed the city, exposing 500,000
people to the toxic gases. At least 2,000 people died in the first days after
the leak, and 300,000 suffered injuries.
Fifteen years after the Union Carbide Disaster in Bhopal, accidents still happen, and all too often. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has estimated that chemical accidents kill on average 250 Americans every year. Furthermore, the potential for a catastrophic accident is high. The State PIRGs' report, "Accidents Waiting to Happen," examines chemical facilities in the U.S. storing chemicals defined by the EPA as 'extremely hazardous substances' due to their high accident hazard. The report found that 4,860 U.S. facilities store these hazardous chemicals in larger quantities than were released at Bhopal.
Click on your state to see local hazardous chemical information.
[PIRG:] above map used by the written permission of Juan Cabanela.
[Alabama], [Alaska], [Arizona], [Arkansas], [California], [Colorado], [Connecticut], [Delaware], [District of Columbia], [Florida], [Georgia], [Hawaii], [Idaho], [Illinois], [Indiana], [Iowa], [Kansas], [Kentucky], [Louisiana], [Maine], [Maryland], [Massachusetts], [Michigan], [Minnesota], [Mississippi], [Missouri], [Montana], [Nebraska], [Nevada], [New Hampshire], [New Jersey], [New Mexico], [New York], [North Carolina], [North Dakota], [Ohio], [Oklahoma], [Oregon], [Pennsylvania], [Rhode Island], [South Carolina], [South Dakota], [Tennessee], [Texas], [Utah], [Vermont], [Virginia], [Washington], [West Virginia], [Wisconsin], [Wyoming]
Kearny (NJ) on the Web provides links to a number of news reports on hazards of chemical plants (a South Kearney chemical plant threatens 12 million people in the New York metropolitan region):
February 15, 2003
Efforts to shore up America's infrastructure against another terrorist attack have largely ignored a critical and highly vulnerable sector of the economy: the chemical industry.
On an overcast September afternoon in South Kearny, N.J., Frank and Rosa Ferreira parked their white Volvo across the street from the Kuehne Chemical plant on Hackensack Avenue. Armed with a handheld video camera, the two environmental activists wandered around the perimeter capturing images of the plant's guard gates and security fence. They zoomed in on large storage tanks labeled "sodium hydrochloride" in bold black letters.
A panoramic view of the fence shows security weaknesses in certain areas, particularly at three entrance and exit gates, which are loosely held closed by chains. No padlocks are noticeable. Despite scanning a couple hundred yards of fence, the Ferreiras didn't pick up any security personnel on the 20-minute video, which they posted on their Web site, www.publiccitizenonline.com. Two days later, on Sept. 5, 2002, the Ferreiras returned. Again, they photographed large chemical storage containers and idle tanker trucks sitting a few feet away from the fence. And again, no security personnel approached the couple.
Driving along the Pulaski Skyway, Frank Ferreira noticed another weakness at the facility: It sits directly underneath the 1.3-mile bridge connecting Jersey City to Newark. The plant, which produces chlorine and bleach for cities along the Eastern seaboard, is a mere three miles from Newark International Airport and five miles from Lower Manhattan. It wouldn't take much, Ferreira says, for someone to stop on the skyway and penetrate the storage tanks using a rifle or other weapon.
"A few days before we went down there, we saw an article in our local paper that Greenpeace was looking at the safety of the chemical industry," Ferreira recalls. "They focused on the Kuehne plant. The article talked about documents filed with the Environmental Protection Agency showing that a chemical release could threaten the lives of 12 million people in a 16-mile radius. We went down there expecting to see something like Fort Knox - something you couldn't penetrate." He was wrong. "It was like a ghost town. . . . Once we finished taping, I turned to my wife and said, 'There is something terribly wrong here.'"
Kuehne Chemical, South Kearny, NJ Map Quest
USGS Seamless 2002 (One-half size)
USGS Seamless 2002 (Full size)