Are Texas Officials Misleading the Public About a Possible Impending Chemical Explosion?


Photo Credit: MSNBC via YouTube

Matt Dempsey, a data reporter for the Houston Chronicle, appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the possibility of a serious safety risk being covered up in Texas.

Hurricane Harvey saw an Arkema chemical manufacturing plant evacuated because, according to the company’s CEO, there is “no way to prevent” a possible explosion due to the flooding. While residents in the surrounding area have been advised to leave, citizens in possible immediate danger cannot be forced to evacuate due to Texas law.

Absolutely no one is contesting the real risk of explosion. But, for some reason, Dempsey received conflicting answers from government officials, Arkema and actual experts.

The experts believe that the public could be at grave risk from “powder keg” situation that could create “shockwave” of sorts and devastate the region.

Rather than address the concerns of experts presented by Dempsey, Arkema both refused to make the plant’s inventory public or even answer basic safety questions about the plant’s compliance with “standard operating procedure […] to have some sort of compound to quelch the organic peroxide, essentially to make sure the explosion risk, the fire risk was not there.”

Watch the full segment below.

Chris Sosa is an associate editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Previously, he was a campaign specialist and media spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.


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