Report: Firefighter Deaths at West Fertilizer Plant Could Have Been Prevented

The deaths of 10 volunteer firefighters who perished in the West fertilizer plant disaster in April 2013 were preventable, according to a long-awaited report released tonight by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The firefighters gave their lives to save their community and followed their training, the report finds, but didn’t have the resources or knowledge to fight a dangerous fire that involved a little-understood hazardous material.

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Oil Giant Citgo Gets Off Easy in Criminal Case

A foreign oil company convicted of polluting a Texas community’s air with dangerous chemicals has gotten off easy in a criminal case that could undercut the prosecution of environmental crimes in the United States. The case revolves around Venezuelan-owned Citgo Petroleum’s decade-long violation of the federal Clean Air Act at its refinery in Corpus Christi.

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Citgo’s Corpus Christi Environmental Crimes: Too Big to Punish

After seven years of waiting, Corpus Christi pollution victims finally learned what restitution they’ll be receiving from Citgo Petroleum Corp.: nothing. Last week, a federal district judge determined that residents of a neighborhood exposed to toxic chemicals from Citgo’s Corpus refinery weren’t due any compensation, including medical expenses or relocation costs.

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The Five-Year-Old-Boy Rebuilding West, Texas

One year ago on April 17, five-year-old Parker Pustejovsky lost his father in the fertilizer plant explosion that wrecked the small Texas town of West. Joey Pustejovsky was one of 10 first responders to die trying to put out the fire that precipitated the blast. It wasn’t long before young Parker declared he would rebuild the city park, stripped bare by the explosion—and he’d do it by selling hot dogs.

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