Danger of Chemical plants?

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We live near several chemical plants and I'm trying to evaulate the safety of staying here after 1-1-2000. Does anyone know how the chemical industry is coming along with y2k work? Is it possible that there would be deadly gas releases due to faulty computer chips?

Thanks for your help, Susan

-- Susan (jclont@mastnet.net), March 12, 1999


Its possible there could be "deadly gas releases" without Y2K --- its happened before. Its more likely with Y2K. There have been several threads/links on this site showing that chemical plants are basically on the lower end of being prepared. So there is reason for genuine concern.

Don't be afraid to personally investigate/contact the plants near you! It is a very individual type situation as to if the ones you are concerned about are ready - generalizations aren't of much use to you.

In summary: It should be a concern. You will have to determine the specific risks to your family based on the specific plants.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), March 12, 1999.

Check out the Senate report on chemical manufacturing. I quote "Left unchecked, the Year 2000 problem - called Y2K, for short--could be catastrophic for the chemical process industries (CPI). The date glitch could cause innumerable shutdowns and horrific accidents."

-- Sharon (sking@drought-ridden.com), March 12, 1999.

February 13, 1999, 08:10 p.m.
Y2K petrochemical warnings sounded
Houston-area plants race computer-driven clock to prevent disaster
Copyright 1999 Houston Chronicle Environment Writer
As the nation's petrochemical capital, Houston faces a unique array of potential problems, ranging from the catastrophic to the merely troublesome, because oil and chemical plants are controlled with thousands of computer chips that may be vulnerable to the much-publicized Year 2000 bug.
Industry officials are racing the clock to identify and correct plant systems containing date-sensitive chips that won't read 2000 properly. At the same time, companies are reviewing and refining their contingency plans in case they don't find all the problem chips and the computer glitch causes an emergency.
With a flood of recent reports on the Y2K bug's threat in other computerized areas of modern life, the additional specter of fires, explosions and toxic clouds at petrochemical plants might seem like premillennial jitters or technophobia.
In this case, however, the warnings are coming from people and groups more noted for their expertise in the industry's complex workings than for any tendency toward doomsaying, and who are taking care to distinguish their concern from alarm.
"It's not a hoax," said Ray Skinner, area director of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Houston South office. "It's a real issue and something that's very, very important."
Link and the rest of the story at: http://www .chron.com/content/story.html/page1/195526

-- Dan (DanTCC@Yahoo.com), March 12, 1999.

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