On behalf of Rock Palermo of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC posted in Environmental Law on July 01, 2013.
Last Thursday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee convened to take a closer look at two disastrous chemical explosions, one of which occurred in Louisiana.
The Louisiana chemical explosion occurred at the Williams Olefins chemical plan in Geismar on June 13. Two workers were killed and 114 others were injured. An estimated 31,000 pounds of toxic chemicals were emitted into the surrounding environment, according to filings with the Louisiana State Department of Environmental Quality. Naturally, that could lead to untold chemical exposure issues.
The other incident the Committee will investigate is the April 17 explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. That disaster killed 15 people and injured more than 160 others.
Sen. David Vitter (R.-Louisiana) said the hearings would be 'educational.' He said the goal was to understand how the incidents happened and to learn whether there was anything that could be done to prevent similar happenings in the future.
It isn't clear yet when the Senate will conclude its inquest.
We certainly hope the investigation is worthwhile and reveals something that can help lawmakers take action. It is true that our industrial sector has made great strides toward safety in the past half-century, but as these incidents show, we have quite a way to go. Even one accident like this is one accident too many. The citizens of Louisiana deserve to be treated better than this; we should not always have to be worrying about our health and the integrity of the environment because of incidents like this.
Source: The New Orleans Times-Picayune, "Senate committee to examine deadly Geismar chemical accident," Bruce Alpert, June 26, 2013
Tags: Environmental Law