Unreported Fertilizer Poses Threat to East Texas Town
The message last week out of a U.S. Senate committee hearing on the West explosion was clear: Ammonium nitrate fertilizer stored in wooden buildings is dangerous.
But for the second time in two weeks, WFAA has discovered a wooden structure in the center of a small town posing a threat the size of West.
The first was in Athens –– this is in Emory, Texas, a 1,200-population farming community 65 miles east of Dallas whose economy depends largely upon the Potts Feed and Fertilizer store in the center of it.
And while the feed store is well marked, that tan building on the back end of the property is not, and what’s inside may be a mystery to many. Even the Texas Department of State Health Services doesn’t know. But they are supposed to. In the wide-open structure, WFAA found a bin labeled ‘ammonium nitrate.’
Anyone storing more than 10,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate must report to the state Health department. Rains County Emergency Management Coordinator Harold Carr has an office right across the street.