We are a group of concerned citizens who care about the safety of our neighbors and the quality of our environment. We recognize that our government leaders, local media, and federal agencies have neglected us.
Since the Magnablend Central Facility fire on October 3, 2011, we have found that big businesses, community leaders, and government agencies work harder to hide facts from citizens than they do caring about our health and the environmental impact accidents cause.
Immediately following the Magnablend fire, and as of November 26, 2011, Magnablend CEO Scott Pendery refused to provide the public a full list of chemicals on-site. As of this writing, Magnablend has only provided the public (via MSDS documents made available by the Waxahachie Fire Department) a list of approximately 91 chemicals, but NBC quoted Pendery two days later saying "we have about 200 different raw materials that are in our facility".
Despite the courageous work by local fire departments, withholding this information severely impacted the ability to fight the fire efficiently and provide the local community full disclosure of what toxins they may be exposed to. In addition, the lack of transparency also prevented the EPA and TCEQ from conducting accurate monitoring of air quality when it was needed the most.
After stating the majority of Magnablend's work at the Central Facility involved creating products for the agriculture industry, Pendery later changed his story and confirmed that Magnablend mainly produced chemicals for hydraulic fracking. Pendery still refuses to release a full list of chemicals that were on-site during the fire.
The TCEQ and EPA have also not been open with the public regarding toxic hazards. Limited air quality tests have been released from October 3rd through October 7th with claims that air quality is safe. This is despite test results that have proven otherwise. EPA air quality tests were basic and limited. Water sample test results were not released until November 21 and November 24. Magnablend claimed the water is safe within days after the fire and has continued to claim the water is safe in recent press releases, but the water test results revealed by the EPA show a different scenario.
Our local media has been too afraid to press for answers. They seem more concerned with repeating and trusting information from Magnablend. Our community leaders are keeping quiet, Magnablend has been anything but forthcoming with information, and federal agencies tasked with keeping communities safe have been less than helpful.
This disaster has revealed problems with our local emergency planning. Specific important agencies were never brought into the disaster and others were not brought in until hours after the fire began. Local emergency planning is insufficient if it fails the community it is intended to protect. Communication appears to be the biggest breakdown, but now residents are frustrated at the lack of transparency.
Our goal is to provide residents of Ellis County facts, a voice, and relay concerns that many residents have regarding a variety of issues that affect us all. We are not afraid to ask the hard questions or demand answers.
We ask for your support and your involvement. We are all in this together.