[Paleopsych] Chemical plants and terrorism (google terms)

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Fri Mar 11 03:40:34 UTC 2005

Fast Facts
Last update: June 19, 2002
In brief:
According to the U.S. EPA, 123 chemical facilities in the United States 
each threaten a million or more nearby residents. More than 700 plants 
could put at least 100,000 people at risk, and more than 3,000 facilities 
have at least 10,000 people nearby.
(Source: Washington Post 
Common facilities using chemicals that pose the greatest threats to local 
populations include chemical manufacturers (chlorine and a range of other 
chemicals), water treatment facilities (chlorine), oil refineries (chlorine 
and a range of other chemicals) and fertilizer manufacturers (ammonia).
(Source: Jeremiah Baumann, U.S. Public Interest Research Group)
Public interest groups like Greenpeace, U.S. PIRG and Environmental Defense 
advocate improving "inherent safety" at chemical plants and water treatment 
facilities by replacing especially hazardous chemicals with safer ones. 
Advocates for "inherent safety" argue that virtually all of the 
ultra-hazardous chemicals used in the United States have safer substitutes. 
A number of facilities <inherent_safety.html> have demonstrated that it's 
possible to change operations or chemicals to improve safety. One example: 
after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Blue Plains sewage treatment 
plant near Washington, D.C., stopped using chlorine in a matter of weeks, 
substituting a much less toxic disinfectant.
(Source: Washington Post 
A chemical release could endanger millions of Americans:
A terrorist attack on a toxic chemical plant in a densely populated area 
could result in up to 2.4 million casualties, according to an October study 
by the U.S. Army surgeon general.
(Source: Global Security Newswire 
Copies of U.S. chemical trade publications were found in an Osama bin Laden 
hideout in December 2001.
(Source: Washington Post 
According to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Coast Guard, 
a large leak of chlorine gas can travel two miles in only 10 minutes and 
remain acutely toxic to a distance of about 20 miles.
(Source: Greenpeace 
Only 10 parts per million of chlorine is needed to reach the IDLH 
("immediately dangerous to life or health") level established by the 
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
(Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 
Chemical plant disaster scenarios documented by the U.S. EPA, as reported 
in December 2001 by the Washington Post 
A suburban California chemical plant routinely loads chlorine into 90-ton 
railroad cars that, if ruptured, could poison more than 4 million people in 
Orange and Los Angeles counties, depending on wind and weather conditions.
A Philadelphia refinery keeps 400,000 pounds of hydrogen fluoride that 
could asphyxiate nearly 4 million nearby residents.
A South Kearny, N.J., chemical company's 180,000 pounds of chlorine or 
sulfur dioxide could form a cloud that could threaten 12 million people.
The West Virginia sister plant of the infamous Union Carbide Corp. factory 
in Bhopal, India, keeps up to 200,000 pounds of methyl isocyanate that 
could emit a toxic fog over 60,000 people near Charleston.
The Atofina Chemicals Inc. plant outside Detroit projects that a rupture of 
one of its 90-ton rail cars of chlorine could endanger 3 million people.

the link:  http://www.ems.org/chemical_plants/facts.html

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