September 10, 2010 (Kearny, NJ) On the eve of September 11th, two articles struck us as reminders of how government officials continue to allow dangerous conditions to exist despite clear evidence that measures must be taken to prevent a potential tragedy. KOTW, once again, calls upon our elected official to retrofit the Kuehne Chemical plant in South Kearny to avoid a potential tragedy.
In San Bruno, California gas company officials ignored complaints from residents who smelled an increased natural gas smell in their neighborhood. Local government officials did not take neighborhood resident complaints seriously. The result a gas explosion as a result of a 30 inch natural gas main failure. The main dated back to 1948. Company and Government officials are going to investigate. Wouldn't it have been much more productive to take seriously the natural gas smell complaints by residents and found the leak before it reduced an entire neighborhood into rubble and killed at least four residents? Yes. Just as it makes total sense to retrofit the Kuehne Chemical Plant now before a potential tragedy occurs.
Kristen Breitweiser in an editorial piece in the Huffington Post entitled Three Mosque Questions put it bluntly:
"The Republicans' shameless hypocrisy of race-baiting under the guise of national security is laughable given the fact that if Republicans really gave a damn about keeping downtown Manhattan safe they'd have insisted that Senator Susan Collins drop her obstructionist wand last month when chemical and water treatment plant security legislation was up for a vote in the Senate. But they didn't.
Now, thanks to Senator Collins and her Republican cohorts, the Kuehne Chemical Plant in South Kearny, NJ (along with more than one hundred other plants across the country) remain woefully unsafe--placing millions, including those in lower Manhattan, instantly at risk should any type of accident or terrorist attack take place. Picture lungs melting just like the steel in the Twin Towers on 9/11. Not a pretty picture."
Breitweiser is a 9/11 widow and activist. Her words paint a dramatic but accurate picture of what could happen if the Kuehne Chemical Plant is attacked. We draw continued strength from her words and her courage in a face of a personal tragedy.
Nine years after 9/11 the plant remains the source of a potential tragedy. Like the 30 inch gas main in San Bruno, California, the Kuehne Chemical plant could be fixed. Should we wait until it takes out an entire neighborhood, city, county or state before we act? We think not. We do not need government intervention after the fact. We need government intervention before the tragedy. We need government intervention right now. By Kuehne's own estimate 12 millions residents could be effected by an terrorist attack on the plant. Why are we waiting to retrofit the plant?
Please join KOTW's effort to secure the Kuehne Chemical Plant. Let us start with emailing Senator Susan Collins of Maine about your concern for the potential tragedy that will occur unless she supports the Secure Chemical Facility Act.
Please visit our Environment page for previous articles on the Kuehne Chemical Plant. The story is not new nor is the potential tragedy.
On the eve of 9/11, our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. We thank Kristen Breitweiser for her dramatic but truthful words. Let us not forget. Click on the photo of the World Trade Center beams of light on the top of the main page to support the 9/11 Memorial Fund.