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Posts published in “Day: October 8, 2020

Judge ends Arkema trial with no convictions

August 25, until September 2, 2017 Hurricane Harvey brought a historic deluge, flooding knocked out power and refrigeration units were lost. Organic peroxides blazed after all cooling methods failed.As warned by company executives at a press briefing at Crosby Volunteer Fire Department Station Two in Newport, trailers containing chemicals that become volatile at normal temperatures explode outside a warehouse at Arkema Chemical Crosby. About 200 locals were evacuated and 21 first responders were treated at local hospitals.

By Lewis Spearman

HOUSTON – On October 1, Arkema SA and executives were acquitted of criminal charges related to events that followed Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Arkema executives were charged with the crime of felony assault related to failure to provide adequate emergency response information related to first responders entering into a location with toxic fumes. The company was earlier similarly indicted for failure to assess risks.

Although the acquittal bears directly on the responsibility of the company it does not necessarily end the lawsuits related to the incidents.

The same judge found that prosecutors had committed unintentional misconduct.

A 2018 US Chemical Safety Board final report indicated that Arkema had not considered flooding a “credible risk” although it is within the flooding plain and that agency urged better preparation for extreme weather.

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Garcia proposes County tax cut

HARRIS COUNTY – Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia proposed this week a motion to cut Harris County property tax rates. The motion was approved by Commissioners Court unanimously. The Garcia plan proposes a rate that will save taxpayers 1.3 cents per $100 of assessed value on their homes. The plan not only saves taxpayers money, it also still funds crucial priorities such as Flood Control and Harris Health.

“This will be our first consecutive tax reduction in at least ten years, and I’m proud to have proposed the motion to put us on a path toward a rate cut. As we all deal with a pandemic and economic crisis, my hope is that property tax relief will help our neighbors who are struggling. At the same time, essential county services must remain a priority — to both support the local economy, as well as to keep us prepared for any future challenges. (more…)

Rotary sends disaster relief

Highlands Rotary Club sent household food and supplies to the DeQuincy Louisiana Rotary Club last month, to help the recovery effort from Hurricane Laura. Seen in DeQuincy with local Rotarians, are Andy Scott, president of the Highlands Club, and Jerry Fallin, president-elect, who drove a trailer load of needed supplies to the stricken town. See MORE on Page 6.