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In accident plans Arkema submitted to the EPA in 2014, executives said a hurricane and a power loss were potential hazards.Yet the plans, which were supposed to address worst-case scenarios, didn't explain what Arkema would do if faced with either.
Smith reiterated statements executives made earlier Friday that the safest course of action was simply to "let these fires happen and let them burn out." Arkema officials did not directly notify local emergency managers of the generator failure, Moreno said.Daryl Roberts, the company's vice president of manufacturing, technology and regulatory services in the Americas, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the floodwater inundating the plant would cause any toxins produced by the fire to quickly vaporize.By Friday, the water had receded but Smith could not comment on whether that had changed the calculation of risk.But incomplete combustion implies something else is burning.The fire burned not just the organic peroxides but also the plastic packaging, insulation, and the materials used to construct the trailers, Smith said.In June 2006, Arkema had failed to prevent unauthorized emissions during a two-hour warehouse fire. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in February fined Arkema nearly $110,000 -- later reduced to just over $90,000 -- because of 10 serious safety violations found during an inspection.
Records show a pallet of organic peroxide was poorly stored, resulting in the blaze, and more than a ton of volatile organic compounds were discharged. "We don't have a perfect record, we understand that," Rowe said.
It instead came by way of the plant's ride-out crew, who told the Crosby Volunteer Fire Department about it when they were rescued during the storm, she said.
In a conference call with reporters Friday, Arkema President and CEO Rich Rowe apologized and said he was sending a team of employees to Crosby to figure out how best to assist locals.
Workers transferred the compounds to refrigerated containers, but those failed, too, causing Thursday's fire.
After days of questions about what was in its chemical inventory, the company posted a list of them on its website Friday, though not the amounts on hand.
Asked why it hadn't shared the information sooner, Rowe said, "We're managing our way through a crisis." State and federal regulators have cited Arkema for safety and environmental violations at the Crosby plant dating back more than a decade, records show.