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Another Chemical Fire, This One Deadly; Stronger Protections, Enforcement Needed at Chemical Plants

Statement of Stephanie Thomas, Researcher and Community Organizer, Public Citizen’s Houston Office

Note: Today, an explosion and fire erupted at the KMCO chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, near Houston. One person is dead, one person is missing and multiple people have suffered injuries. The incident follows recent chemical fires in Texas that have led to public health and safety concerns.  

Enough is enough.

Today’s incident in Crosby is the third chemical fire in recent weeks, highlighting the insidious nature of corporate pollution in the Houston area and many other areas in the country. We no longer can accept a culture that places profits before people.

The Texas state government has a record of lax enforcement, and the Trump administration is rolling back necessary protections for workers and people living and working in the shadow of chemical plants. These sequential disasters highlight the dire need for more and better protections for these fence line communities. Polluters should not get a free pass to pollute our communities and harm our neighbors.

How many disasters must our communities endure before our elected officials wake up to the need for better protections? How many people need to fear for their health and safety? How many workers must be injured or killed for government to act?

The time to act is now.