New Report Says 1 in 10 Missouri Kids at Risk Due to Toxins

3 years 7 months 3 weeks ago Friday, April 18 2014 Apr 18, 2014 Friday, April 18, 2014 1:52:00 PM CDT April 18, 2014 in News
By: Elaina O'Connell, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - One in ten Missouri kids spend several hours each day near potentially dangerous chemical facilities, according to a new report conducted by the Center for Effective Government.

The center analyzed data on chemical facilities from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Risk Management Program and information on schools, elementary through high school, from the National Center for Education Statistics.

The center's director of open government policy, Sean Moulton, said nationally there are 4.6 million children affected, and in Missouri there are 195,000 school-aged kids at risk.

There are 293 schools in Missouri within one mile of a high-risk chemical facility, the report says.

"One of the reasons we wanted to get this information out there was so that parents, students, and schools can become more active in their own safety," Moulton said. "Schools run fire drills on a regular basis, and that is not to scare the students it is to prepare them. If a fire breaks out in that building you want the kids to be ready to act, and they should have the same kinds of procedures for schools that are close to these facilities considering the possibility of an accident and what they need to do."

KOMU 8 News looked at some of the counties in our viewing area including Boone, Audrain, Callaway, Cole, Moniteau, Cooper, Howard, and Randolph, and found 24 schools are within the one mile radius.

In Columbia, Derby Ridge Elementary School is within a one mile radius from Hawkins Water Treatment Group. According to the Center for Effective Government, Hawkins Water Treatment group houses 5,000 pounds of toxic chlorine. Also, emergency response plan data shows that the facility has its own response plan in case of an emergency, but it does not have a community plan. The local response agency listed is the Boone County Fire Department. The company's Vice President Rich Erstad said it is a part of policy to list the response agency, but he is not familiar with the community plan in case of an emergency. 

Moulton said that parents and community members need to better understand risks that these facilities pose and to push for changes. He said the deadly explosion in West Texas one year ago, which destroyed one school and damaged two others, should serve as a wake up call.

"I think the companies that run these facilities have a responsibility to the communities that they operate within," Moulton said. "Workers that come to the facility have a responsibility to be as safe as possible."

Moulton also said there are more than 100 advocacy groups that continue to recommend stronger disclosure rules and greater oversight of chemical facilities, as well as better emergency response plans. The Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters lists all of the advocacy groups on it's website.

Moulton said schools have a responsibility to protect both kids and parents. Moulton said one of the most important things the federal government can do to protect children and communities is to require these facilities to use safer chemicals and processes whenever feasible.

KOMU 8 News spoke to the assistant principal at Derby Ridge Elementary School, and the only comment she would make was, "We are very vigilant about keeping the kids safe." 

One of Moulton's concerns is that the schools are unaware of the dangers.

"I think it is easy to be close to these facilities, but if you can't see them and you are not right on top of them you don't realize how close you can be," Moulton said. "I think the other thing is many people probably don't realize the magnitude of risk that some of these facilities pose."

To find out if your child's school is within one mile from a high risk chemical facility there is an interactive map on the Center for Effective Government's website.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The director of the Missouri Veterans Commission has resigned amid complaints about care at the St.... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 10:37:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
SALINE COUNTY - Former Columbia Police officer Rob Sanders will head back to the courtroom in May 2018 as he... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 10:03:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. The deal is pending a physical. ... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:41:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Sports
AUDRAIN COUNTY - The man who was found on Audrain Road 913 Tuesday next to a crashed car died of... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:32:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Missouri law enforcement is impeded by a number of issues in cases involving child sexual abuse. Alleged... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:20:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Target 8
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce hosted the ninth and final public hearing by the 21st Century Missouri Transportation... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality is fast approaching. The vote to remove regulations that... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Justice Reinvestment Task Force took its first step Wednesday when it comes to addressing mental health,... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:53:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - As Columbia Regional Airport plans to expand, it got a push from Mayor Brian Treece. Treece called... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:37:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri is among the worst states nationwide at preventing its young people from smoking and using tobacco, according... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:15:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri American Water is making changes to the aging Jefferson City Treatment Plant with the goal of... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 5:33:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
Update: Police Chief Ken Burton talked a little bit about the Old Hawthorne homicide at the Citizens Police Review Board... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 5:32:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Many people accused of crimes are languishing in county jails as the Missouri State Public Defender System... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 5:06:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Target 8
The Geminid meteor shower begins Wednesday night and viewing conditions may be the best in several years! This annual... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 4:47:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY- A fire burned down a home and a truck on Wednesday while the owner was away in Moberly... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 4:45:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — A city official in the southeast Missouri town of Poplar Bluff faces criminal charges for... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 4:07:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Authorities have given the all clear after investigating a possible explosive device around the Hearnes Center shuttle bus... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 3:53:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a Missouri man with making threatening phone calls to... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 3:11:24 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
3am 34°
4am 32°
5am 31°
6am 28°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:07a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
3:00a
Early Today
3:30a
Early Today
2:00a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program
3:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
Football Night in Indianapolis
7:20p
Thursday Night Football
7:00p
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2017
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld