Fact: 42% of Longview’s youth live within 1.5 miles of the proposed anhydrous ammonia facility.
Pacific Coast Fertilizer LLC (Pacific Coast) wants to build and operate a 61-acre petrochemical facility to process fracked gas into anhydrous ammonia. The facility would store anhydrous ammonia just a few thousand feet from homes and transfer the ammonia in 100 to 200 tanker trucks per week and ocean-going ships.1
What is anhydrous ammonia?
Anhydrous ammonia is an extremely hazardous chemical that is corrosive to skin, eyes, and lungs; can be immediately dangerous to life and health; and, under certain conditions, is flammable and explosive. 2
Is it safe to live near an anhydrous ammonia plant?
The United States classifies anhydrous ammonia as an extremely hazardous substance. Ammonia accidents are relatively common and they can be very serious.3
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “[i]ncreased exposure risk can result from anhydrous ammonia leaks at storage facilities or from means of transportation” and “[t]hese leaks may require evacuation and the use of emergency personnel and procedures.”4
A controversial anhydrous ammonia facility in Columbia City, Oregon, illegally released more than six tons of anhydrous ammonia vapor over three days in 2015. The emissions triggered numerous complaints from neighboring residents, who reported foul odors, eye irritation, and difficulty breathing. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined the facility $250,000.
Is an anhydrous ammonia facility bad for my health?
Ammonia releases tend to form ground-hugging vapor clouds that increase the chance of human exposure, which can result in burns, blisters, and death.5
The heavy truck traffic and air pollution from Pacific Coast’s petrochemical facility would also increase dangerous particulate matter and carbon dioxide pollution.
The facility includes a 197-foot-tall gas-fl are stack.6 That’s the equivalent of two basketball court-lengths combined.
From 1998 to 2013, almost 1,000 accidents have occurred at 678 facilities storing large quantities of anhydrous ammonia in the United States. In other words, 6.8 percent of the facilities storing anhydrous ammonia had one or more accidents. These accidents resulted in 19 deaths, 1,651 injuries, and almost $350 million in property damage. Moreover, 63,676 people had to leave their homes and jobs when facilities and surrounding communities were evacuated following these accidents. Although not all the accidents at these facilities were the result of anhydrous ammonia releases, many were.
Community Forum October 8, 2018, at 7:00-8:30 p.m.,
in Longview, WA.
- City of Longview, Pacific Coast Fertilizer SEPA, http://www.mylongview.com/index.aspx?page=913.
- U.S. Dept. of Justice, 2016 Implementation Progress Report on Environmental Justice at 23 (2016).
- Sightline Institute, A Billion Dollar Gas-to-Fertilizer Plant in Longview? (Nov. 7, 2017), https://www.sightline.org/2017/11/07/a-billion-dollar-gasto-fertilizer-plant-in-longview/.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Anhydrous Ammonia (undated) https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/AnhydrousAmmonia.html.
- Pacific Coast Fertilizers SEPA Checklist at 25 (Oct. 10, 2017) http://www.mylongview.com/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=3242.
- Center for Effective Government, Is Anhydrous Ammonia a Risk to Your Community? (May 7, 2013) https://www.foreffectivegov.org/is-anhydrous-ammonia-a-risk-to-your-community