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Is Ballinger fertilizer plant a safety concern?

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: May 01 2013 03:05:28 PM CDT
Updated On: May 01 2013 05:12:03 PM CDT
BALLINGER, Texas -

After a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, people all over the Lone Star State have concerns about the plants in their area.

KTXS checked the Big Country and found out there is a fertilizer plant in Ballinger, however,  it is not the same type of plant as the one in West.

For the first time in more than 30 years they agreed to let the media inside to help people understand what it is they do there.

"We are not the same kind of company as West. People have a tendency to lump all fertilizer companies together; we are extremely different in that regard," Edward Studer, president of Buddy’s Plant Plus. 

Buddy's Plant Plus has been in operation in Ballinger for more than 30 years.

"I raised my kids here in this community, I served on the school board here, I hope to raise my grandkids here, and there is nothing that I would do to place myself, my kids or my community in danger. There’s no amount of money in the world worth any of that," said Studer. 

That doesn't mean he can guarantee there will never be an incident at the plant, but he said they take extra precautions to ensure it will remain contained.

"You never ever want an accident to happen, but you have to be prepared for an accident even if it doesn't," Studer said. "We have accident plans in place with the hospital, with the school, with the fire department for anything that might possibly come around," he added. 

The Ballinger Fire Department does a walk-through of the plant once a year. We talked to the Ballinger Fire Department to find out if they think the plant is a concern. They said no.

"They’re not the same thing that the other place, West, had. I mean they don't have any anhydrous ammonia or anything like that. Far as I’m concerned I’m not really that worried about it," said Brent Allen, assistant fire chief of the Ballinger Fire Department.

Almost every move made at Buddy's Plant Plus is tracked by the government to ensure that they are complying with safety standards.