Why put our city at risk?
“My name is Jim Ruether and I own a business in Montevideo.”
That’s what I stated when I appeared at the city council meeting. I was there because of my concerns generated in part, to the information supplied by both sides in the issue at that council meeting.
I have a business located on the opposite side of the Highway 7 overpass from the anhydrous ammonia storage facility location, proposed by Cenex to the city for site approval. My concerns deal with the fact that prevailing winds in our area will drive any gas escape directly towards the city of Montevideo and my business.
The overpass that I was telling you about that would maybe protect my business has a fault and that is the railroad under passage way and viaduct which will act just like a venturi in a carburetor to concentrate any gas escape and accelerate its speed across the ground towards my business and the downtown area.
This would all happen of course after several people in Smith Addition would either be injured with burnt lungs, skin burns and blindness or death from anhydrous exposure. After hearing the facts from both sides I just don’t feel comfortable having this poison inside our city limits.
British Petroleum has significantly more assets than Cenex and yet a blow down, or over-pressure valve failed to function with this company on one of its drilling rigs causing 11 deaths and horrible environmental damage. These valves were supposed to be checked out and approved for use every five years just like those blow off valves on the anhydrous storage tanks that Cenex wants to put upwind from our community playground. So how likely could something like this happen to a small town in western Minnesota? I really don’t want to find out.
In North Dakota they locate these bulk storage facilities in an empty section of land with few neighbors and some distance to the nearest ranch. They install sniffers to detect leaks and alarms to warn the neighbors before injuries can occur. I would think that Cenex could find another location outside of town with a sparser population and a reasonable distance away from livestock and humans instead of right inside the city limits of Montevideo where it is a threat of lethal proportions.
‘We, the people’ versus the U.N.
I’m sure most of you know that the Obama administration sued Arizona over it’s immigration law (which is much less stringent than our Federal immigration law.) Under the Arizona law, you cannot stop anyone and ask for identification unless they have committed a crime or violated some law. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted, on TV, he had not even read the law when he filed the law suit and claimed it would lead to profiling. (I guess they don’t read laws or bills anymore!)
But even worse than that, on Aug. 20, the Obama administration submitted a 29-page document called the “Universal Periodic Review” to the United Nations Human Rights Council outlining a laundry list of human rights abuses allegedly committed by the U.S. Included in this list is Arizona’s immigration law.
So now, instead of our government deciding what should be done with the Arizona law, it will be decided by the United Nations council, whose members include Cuba and Libya!
The submission of the document is the first step in the United Nations review process which will culminate with the issuance of a plan of action from a panel of U.N. bureaucrats.
At that point the U.S. would be expected to “voluntarily” comply with the panel’s recommendations. But as the U.N. Human Rights Council states on its Web site, “The Human Rights Council will decide on the measures it would need to take in case of persistent non-cooperation by a state.”
Will all future laws that Obama opposes be sent to the United Nations for review? Do you want our government run by “we, the people” or by corrupt bureaucrats at the United Nations?
Council smiles at Ray Stiles
I have heard a lot of public speakers in my day but when the local Farmers Union Oil Co. brought in their secret weapon, Ray Stiles, in support of their CUP for anhydrous ammonia storage and transfer within city limits, I have a new respect for what not to do when addressing the public. This man claims to have done it all when it comes to the physical world, including an uncanny talent for fearlessly dealing with ammonia without the use of protective clothing or gear.
His loud and somewhat rude, condescending behavior left many in disbelief of his claims, such as a relatively small holding pond for runoff water at the east end of the proposed ammonia tank site would readily attract and dissipate any dangerous leak from the tanks just over 100 feet to the west, even with a 45 mph wind blowing against it.
Didn’t this sound unreasonably defiant of the laws of nature? Ammonia vapor is much less dense than air. Draw your own conclusion.
So, this is the answer to the safety issue with the ammonia tanks in Montevideo? This is the final word that perhaps the council is making its decision on? Or was it just a show for the camera and the inevitable airing on local Channel 8?
This will make our city safe from an accidental or catastrophic release? I checked with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, where I was told this is not the case.
The ammonia, if released, will move with the wind. It may hug the ground or may rise, depending on the humidity and temperature. It seeks water, yes, but it won’t fight the wind.
If this claim Mr. Stiles made were true, wouldn’t it be a required feature any place that ammonia is stored and transferred? But it is not. If Mr. Stiles’ claims were true, wouldn’t it be a required feature any place that ammonia is stored and transferred? But it is not.
This speaker claims he has done consulting and training for the co-op. Draw your own conclusions as to the validity of this as well.
The council made sure he was the last to speak making it impossible to counter or react to his claims or just ask questions about it. Hardly a fair and unbiased informative presentation in my opinion. This location is still the wrong thing to do in my opinion, it should be yours as well.