Category Archives: accidents

Proposed Arkansas Ethanol Facility Causing a Stir

– by Marielle Mohs, March 2, 2016, KTHV

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Photo: KTHV

A town hall meeting got pretty heated on Wednesday night in Maumelle.

Many angry citizens voiced their concerns about a proposed ethanol storage facility that would store 4.2 million gallons of ethanol and cost about $12 million. It would take about nine months to complete.

“When the high school and middle school went into the industrial park, I never thought it was a great idea to have them that close to a rail spur,” said Preston Lewis, Maumelle Alderman, who’s against the proposed project.

Green Plains, along with Delek, drew out the plans for a proposed ethanol distribution facility.

“We only need to look down the road at Mayflower at what happened there a few years ago,” said Lewis.

Wednesday’s town hall meeting posed a lot of “what if” questions with people concerned about a disaster plan, if a fire happened at the site.

“Very hazardous material with a reputation for causing a lot of damage and explosions. I think you have a challenge, especially with the school being within such
close proximity,” said Lewis.

One of the concerns the community has about this proposed plant, is that it’s so close to Maumelle High School, approximately 1,400 feet away.

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Ethanol Freight Tankers Derail in Upstate New York

– March 2, 2016, Associated Press

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Photo: Sandiegouniontribune.com

The Latest on a freight train derailment in western New York (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

A 16-car freight train derailment in western New York has interrupted Amtrak passenger service between Chicago and New York City.

An Amtrak official says the eastbound Lake Shore Limited is being stopped Wednesday at Cleveland while the westbound train is being halted at Buffalo. Buses are being used to ferry passengers in both directions to stations in the two cities.

A Norfolk Southern train derailed last night in the town of Ripley, 60 miles southwest of Buffalo. Officials say the derailment shut down four sets of tracks. One has since reopened to CSX freight traffic. There’s no word on when the others will be open.

No injuries were reported.

More than 50 homes were evacuated because two tankers containing ethanol and one with propane derailed.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Bioenergy Industry Fires and Explosions

– by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

Fires and/or explosions have occurred at over 75 industrial bioenergy facilities and storage areas over the last fifteen years, resulting in multiple injuries and nine deaths, based on research from The Biomass Monitor.

Fires at bioenergy facilities typically start from boiler fires, spontaneous combustion of fermenting woodchip or sawdust piles, or wood dust explosions, according to the Institution of Fire Engineers and F.E. Moran Plant Services.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls dust fires a “major industrial hazard.” An October 2009 OSHA report notes 280 dust fires and explosions at industrial sites—the largest percentage being wood, but also including “food products, metal products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, rubber and plastic products, paper products, furniture, electric and sanitary services, transportation equipment, durable goods, and textile mills”—over the past 25 years, which have killed 119 people and injured 700. OSHA conducted 1,000 inspections, with 25% of inspections of wood related facilities and found 3,786 federal (74% serious) violations and 1,140 state (34% serious).

Dust explosions throughout industry—not just the bioenergy industry—are tracked on a website by GreCon.

The most recent bioenergy-related accident occurred on August 8, 2018 when recycled wood ignited in an industrial hopper at E.ON’s Blackburn Meadows biomass power facility in Tinsley, UK.

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