"Texas Town’s Blast Crater Shows Risk From Patchwork Zoning Laws"

"With two schools near a plant storing ammonium nitrate -- the fertilizer used in the Oklahoma City bombing -- West, Texas, Superintendent Marty Crawford said he had always worried about an explosion like the one that happened last week."

"'We crossed our fingers that that could never happen,' Crawford told reporters a day after the April 17 blast killed 14 people, wrecked two schools, destroyed a nursing home and left a crater 93 feet (28 meters) wide and 10 feet deep.

Crawford’s dilemma is echoed across Texas and the U.S. where land use near plants handling dangerous chemicals is controlled by a patchwork of federal and state regulations and zoning laws that are often more attuned to property owners’ rights than those who live and work near industrial sites."

Darrell Preston reports for Bloomberg April 26, 2013.

Friday, April 26, 2013