TX Officials Had Rated Fertilizer Plant Risk as 'Low'
Of course, they weren't thinking of a massive explosion
In late 2006 or early 2007, a state environmental inspector saw the nearby homes and schools while reviewing a separate permit for a sister company, Adair Grain Inc., located at the same site as West Fertilizer. Here is the official summary of his findings from a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality permit document:
The regional investigator described the area surrounding the facility as residential and farm land. There are two schools located within 3000 ft of this facility, however, the impact potential is described by the region [regional TCEQ office] as low. The nearest off property receptor, a residence, is 350 ft from the plant.