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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 68,454

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Who wants to answer?

Poirot Kitty's on the case

Let's Dance...

I Am?

Genesis - Tonight, Tonight, Tonight

Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime

Tom Tom Club - As above so below

Map: Is There a Risky Chemical Plant Near You?


Last April 17, an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, killed 15 people, injured at least 200, and destroyed dozens of homes, schools, and a nursing home. In the wake of the disaster, we wondered: Can we locate the industrial sites in your community where similar incidents might occur?

The answer to that question, it turns out, is not so simple. Even basic information about sites where hazardous chemicals are kept and what kinds of accidents can be anticipated is tucked away in official documents. Much of that data is not easily accessible due to post-9/11 security measures, making it nearly impossible to get a clear sense of whether you live, work, or go to school near the next potential West, Texas.

Here's what we do know: Millions of Americans live near a site that could put them in harm's way if hazardous chemicals leak or catch fire. The Environmental Protection Agency monitors roughly 12,000 facilities that store one or more of 140 toxic or flammable chemicals that are potentially hazardous to nearby communities. In late 2012, a Congressional Research Service report found that more than 2,500 of these sites estimate that their worst-case scenarios could affect between 10,000 and 1 million people; more than 4,400 estimated that their worst-case scenarios could affect between 1,000 and 9,999 people.

The interactive map below, based on data from the EPA's Risk Management Program, shows at least 9,000 facilities where a "catastrophic chemical release" or what the EPA calls a "worst-case scenario" could harm nearby residents. Hover over any site to see its exact location, the chemicals it stores, and how many accidents it documented in its most recent 5-year reporting period.

Tom Tom Club - Wordy Rappinghood (2009)

Who's down for some Shakespeare?

Once more into the breach, my peoples.
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