Fire at toxic waste plant in my hometown

I just found out that there was an explosion at the toxic waste plant in El Dorado, AR. About 6,000 people were evacuated from their homes. The church I attended when I lived there didn’t have church today. The pastor and a nursery worker were calling people when there was a second big bang. At that point, the pastor said something like “Tha hell with this!” and left. The plant’s stacks are visible over the trees from the church. My grandfather was staying at a nursing home near the plant. When my mother called the nursing home to ask that they get him ready to go, they said “Can’t. We’ve got an emergency here. Come ‘n get ‘im.” My mother said that the place looked like the twilight zone when she arrived. As if they were preparing for or had just been hit by a nuclear blast. The EPA is now flying planes around the area, taking regular samples. (Above is summarized from an IM conversation with my mother.) What stands out in my memory of pollution in El Dorado is that Teris (nee Ensco) was that the toxic waste disposal plant was only one of many NIMBY industries there. There was an oil refinary and a chemical refinary that I would pass on the way into town any time I wanted to go. A friend’s father, a mortician, could point to houses along the road by the plants and tell you what cancer or strange blood disease the former resident had died from. Suffice it to say that I fondly recall my home in El Dorado, AR — “Cancer Alley” of South Arkansas — and that this incident isn’t isolated. Almost a year ago, the Detco plant in Conway, AR exploded. I and my fellow Clark staffers could see the ominous black cloud to the North. I have a friend in the Akansas DEQ. She says It actually was not an explosion. The safest thing is to let the waste burn out. We have people on site all of the time and the inspector there is on top of things (not literally). (UPDATE: She also sent me this page from the EPA — lots of information there.)

2 thoughts on “Fire at toxic waste plant in my hometown”

  1. much needed clarification

    The nursery helper’s husband said, “it is too dangerous, we are going home.” The pastor stayed on and made more phone calls. I learned today that it was after 2 p.m. before they got all 200 patients evacuated from the nursing home. Much too long of time to get folks out of there. No one said, “the hell with …”
    I called shortly after the explosion, after the others had decided to leave and he was quick and short with his answer: No, do not come to church today. There are no services.
    Okay?

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