Owner of ETX fertilizer plant: 'I comply with all rules' - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Owner of ETX fertilizer plant: 'I comply with all rules'

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PANOLA COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

The owner of a Carthage fertilizer company said he complies with all mandatory rules, after the State Fire Marshal's office reported his was one of just five facilities in the state that declined an inspection.

Anderson Fertilizer Company typically stores anywhere from 25 to 40 tons of ammonia nitrate, the same chemical stored at the plant that exploded in West in April.

Bob Anderson, the company's founder and owner, said he saw no reason to participate, as the survey of his ammonia nitrate facility was voluntary.   

"I comply with all rules that are mandatory," Anderson said. "But if they're not mandatory, I don't fool with them. They called, I was very busy, and he said he was not affiliated with the fire marshal, just reporting back to the fire marshal. So, I said well this is another company wanting to meddle in my business where they don't have any."

In fact, Anderson said he was just inspected by the Texas Feed and Fertilizer Control yesterday, which found his business up to standards.

The property sits on nearly 1,700 acres outside of Carthage and is also home to other chemicals, as well as a feed mill. Anderson said he has run the business his whole life and has never received a safety violation.

"I've never had any problems, so it's just down-heartening," he said. "I started this business when I was 21 years old and I'm fixing to be 50. I've been in it for 28 years. This is how I make my living. I'm not going to do anything to jeopardize that."

He believes concerns from area residents are misplaced.

"At the worst people will ever have to worry, 25 tons will kill me and my family right here on this farm," Anderson said. "My house is within 150, 200 yards. If I felt like it was going to hurt us, I wouldn't have it."

Making safety of the facility even more personal for the owner.

The State Fire Marshal was not available to comment on whether inspections were conducted by state officials or contractors.

There is no punishment for refusing the voluntary inspection.

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