Friday, May 06, 2016
The Fire Next Time
More on Texas burning:
The warehouse that turned into a four alarm blaze and took over 200 firefighters to control, was storing over 500 gallons of pesticide, which is now presumably in the ground water and the creek that runs through the neighborhood. Residents are being warned to stay out of the creek until tests can be done, tests which may help determine just what the hell was burning in the first place.
And I do mean neighborhood. The fire started in an auto repair shop, spread to a house, and from there to the factory/storage area.
Firefighters couldn't get in touch the the owners of the building, so they had no idea what kind of fire they were fighting. Propane tanks were exploding like missiles into the air. No documents on what chemicals were on the site, or should be on the site, or had been on the site, were available. Under state law (remember West, Texas?) that's still just fine.
I expect a hue and cry from local officials about this. I also expect absolutely nothing to happen on the state level. In other news Austin is about to vote on a referendum as to whether Uber and Lyft drivers have to be fingerprinted (a security measure) in order to drive strangers around town for pay (you know, like taxi drivers). Word it the measure is going to pass, if only because Uber spent about $10 million on advertising, and that saturation has prompted a backlash.
So what, you say? Well, a state rep. has promised to introduce a bill in the next session of the Lege to ban cities from requiring such measures of companies like Uber and Lyft, because the free market (with help from the Lege, of course) should make such decisions. Except, of course, the free market won't make the decision of who to investigate and arrest for rape, murder, assault, etc., and won't do much for the victims of such assaults (who do have a reasonable expectation of NOT being victims of crimes, and that the government will do what it can to make that expectation efficacious.).
Which is why I don't think much will be done about who gets to store what chemicals where, and what everyone needs to know about it. Hell, it ain't like firefighters are part of the free market, is it?
I'll retire to Bedlam....*
*I could link to news stories for all this, but....shit.
Posted by Rmj at 4:55 PM