Last Modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 8:23 PM
On TV they had a report about Lonza and making hydrazine. I had heard that they lost the contract that they had to store this stuff and that all that hydrazine is being stored in those rail cars up front. If one of those things goes up, it’s going to cause a chain reaction among the 10-30 cars. I don’t think that’s safe. Could you look into that?
The Informer forwarded the reader’s message to Jim Barnatt, a local Lonza official who spoke to KPLC-TV last week for a story the station did on NASA’s use of locally produced hydrazine propellant for the latest Mars rover mission.
In response, Barnatt, business manager at the local facility, sent The Informer a statement from the company, which — first as Olin, then as Arch Chemicals, now as Lonza — has supplied hydrazine to the federal government for a half-century or so.
From the statement:
Regarding the safety concerns your reader raises, be assured we take safety and security very seriously. We handle all of our products and raw materials following industry standards and strict Environmental, Health, Safety and Security protocols.
Also, since we are a United States Government contractor, we are highly regulated and follow stringent requirements outlined in our contract. This includes regular audits by Government officials.
Due to security reasons, we cannot comment on specific storage facilities and their locations nor the security systems and procedures we have in place to safeguard our facility, our neighbors and the environment.
The company in 2005, when it was still Arch Chemicals, was awarded a 20-year, $149 million contract to supply the federal government with hydrazine, which is used in rocket fuel and spaceflight thrust systems.
What is the difference between a yellow yield sign and a red yield sign?
“The only legally enforceable background color for a yield sign is red,” Steve Jiles, the state highway department’s regional administrator, wrote in an email.
“A yellow background color would constitute a warning to motorists for which no citation could be issued for a violation. The background color red on a yield sign signifies a legal mandate that vehicles must yield the right of way to other vehicles.”
What happened to the pharmacist that was arrested last year named Charles Mitchell? Is he going to be tried in court?
Beth McGee, spokeswoman for the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office, said Mitchell is set to be tried Nov. 13 on two counts of mingling harmful substances.
According to state law, the charge refers to “the intentional mingling of any harmful substance or matter with any food, drink or medicine with intent that the same shall be taken by any human being to his injury.”
The penalties include up to two years in prison and a fine of $1,000.
The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email firstname.lastname@example.org