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Texas fire: Chemical plant processes toxics, produces pesticide

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The Magnablend chemical plant in Waxahatchie, Texas, where a raging fire broke out this morning, processes tons of toxics, and uses large amounts of anhydrous ammonia, which is caustic, hazardous and can cause breathing problems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s risk management plan.

The plant, about 30 miles south of Dallas, also is listed as a pesticide producer, and mixes or produces chemicals used in agriculture and the petroleum industry, including fluids for hydraulic fracturing (the most common of which are benzene, toluene, xylene and ethylbenzene).

Nearby facilities include two other agricultural chemical plants.

Here is a list of chemicals released or transferred at the plant, in pounds, by year, according to the EPA:

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COPPER COMPOUNDS 5
CERTAIN GLYCOL ETHERS 250 250
ZINC COMPOUNDS 5 5 800 35 250
FORMIC ACID 250
METHANOL 40 40 45 45 45 45 2,412 1,680
ETHYLENE GLYCOL 1 1 1 8,700 5 505
DAZOMET 250
AMMONIA

The plant is located in the Upper Trinity watershed, which has reported contaminants in fish tissue, including chlordane, a chemical formerly used in pesticides, and PCBs, according to the EPA.

More information on the Magnablend chemical plant in Texas.

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-- Geoff Mohan


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