Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Texas Investigated West Fertilizer Plant in 2006

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has released the records history of the West


A citizen complained to the TCEQ in 2006 of a strong ammonia smell coming from the West Fertilizer Co.

Fertilizer Co.The plant was built in 1962, before the federal government required such facilities to have federal air permit authorizations for certain chemicals. The plant did not receive the authorization until 2004.

In 2006, a citizen filed an official complaint with the TCEQ. The complaint said that the “ammonia smell [was] very bad last night from Fertilizer Plant,” and that the smell  “lingered until after they went to bed.” The TCEQ investigated the plant and issued a violation because the plant had not gotten the required authorization.

After a commission investigation in 2006, the plant received two air permit authorizations for “dry fertilizer materials” and for “two 12,000-gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks.”

Records show that the TCEQ has visited the plant several times since issuing the permit but noted no concerns about the company. There have not been any recorded complaints about the company since 2006.

Olivia Gordon is a reporting intern with StateImpact Texas.


  • James

    And tragedies like this will continue until laws are changed that actually put into prison the owners and ceo’s of these companies that let the safety and welfare of their employees come second to profits. My son was killed in an explosion in Cincinnati Ohio on 12-28-2012 at a chemical recycling plant after only 98.50 hours on the job. The people in the area close to the plant have no idea how close they came to having a similar explosion at the plant my son died in. The room where his explosion occurred contained more than 30, 55 gallon drums of flammable 3 material . The explosion that killed my son was so fast the sprinkler system didn’t even go off. Needless to say he just laided there and burned for awhile. When the firemen arrived they couldn’t go inside to retrieve him right away because they had no idea what they were dealing with inside, and the people in charge at the time couldn’t tell them either.Write to your state Representatives and tell them you will not stand for these lax laws that protect the Corporate machine while letting their loved ones die.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »