The Real Paul Jones

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Apex fire – not Bhopal yet

Last night there was a fire in Apex, NC. That would have been innocent enough, but the fire was at a hazardous waste storage facility in downtown Apex. The inaptly name EQ North Carolina, where the EQ stands for Environmental Quality, fire released a large and lingering cloud of chlorine gas leading to the evacuation of 16,000 people.

Kirk Ross at Exile on Jones Street notes that the Town of Apex has a webcam right near the site and that WRAL has aerial photos and more. I note that both the News and Observer package and WRAL use internet mapping services — Yahoo! at N and O, Google at WRAL.

Kirk also lists the violations for which EQ NC was cited in March of this year and for which they were fined $32,000.00.
EQ NC failed to (partial list follows):

  • Maintain and operate the facility to minimize the possibility of a sudden or non-sudden release of hazardous waste constituents to air, soil or surface water which could threaten human health or the environment;
  • Immediately carry out the provisions of the contingency plan whenever there is a release of hazardous waste or constituents which threatens or could threaten human health or the environment;
  • Not store a container of hazardous waste that is incompatible with any waste or material stored;

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