Killeen Business Park

The Killeen Business Park is seen near North Twin Creek Drive in Killeen on April 25, 2016. A new chemical plant will soon come to the Killeen Business Park. The new plant will offer nearly 30 jobs.

Eric J. Shelton | Herald

The people in Killeen’s City Council District 1 are up in arms, according to Councilwoman Shirley Fleming.

Fleming represents the district where the MGC Pure Chemicals America plant will be built in the Killeen Business Park, and she is being peppered with questions and concerns.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t have all of the answers.

That is why Fleming and fellow Killeen Councilman Steve Harris have arranged to hold a public forum Sept. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd.

“The whole community wants answers,” Fleming said. Questions have included which chemicals will be used, whether any are hazardous, whether there are daily emissions and whether local schools and residents would have any negative effects.

The plant will produce super-pure hydrogen peroxide, a cleaning chemical used in the semiconductor industry for applications that require stripping, etching and cleaning silicon wafers, according to previous reports in the Killeen Daily Herald.

Frustrating for Fleming — and many in the district — was how the plans for the chemical plant were handled.

“I can’t see the secrecy,” Fleming said. “I don’t like that.”

In order to land the company, the Killeen Economic Development Corporation negotiated a deal to reimburse some infrastructure costs at the plant, including the possible addition of a rail spur; reimbursement of tap fees, and platting and building permit fees; payment of closing costs and subdividing costs; and reimbursement of 50 percent of the plant’s property tax payments.

Teachers and parents have been contacting Fleming. There are numerous schools and day care centers in the vicinity of the MGC construction site.

“They’re concerned for the children,” Fleming said.

Killeen High School and Leo Buckley Stadium are about a mile away from the business park. Some homes are closer.

At the Killeen Independent School District offices, no concerns have been voiced to the administration, according to Terry Abbott, chief communications officer.

Fleming said she has been working with Phyllis Gogue, vice president of the Killeen Economic Development Corporation, since the announcement about the chemical plant’s construction was made in early August.

Gogue is slated to present a video about MGC Pure Chemicals America at the forum.

Killeen Mayor Jose L. Segarra will be in attendance, as well, according to Fleming. John Crutchfield, president of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, is also planning to be present.

Crutchfield said Wednesday he has heard no complaints or concerns about the chemical plant.

Fleming has extended an invitation to representatives of MGC Pure Chemicals America at the company’s headquarters in Mesa, Arizona. She has not yet heard if anyone from the plant will be in attendance.

The Herald also called the company on Wednesday, but officials did not respond to whether or not they would be coming to the forum.

For the city and EDC officials who will be at the forum, Fleming expects a lot of questions.

“Bringing in business is good,” she said. Yet, “The lack of transparency, the lack of knowledge about the safety and quality of life,” is problematic.

Of those officials, Fleming said, “They signed the contract, they approved it.” If they aren’t able to answer the community’s questions, “It’ll make them look pretty bad.”

The forum is open to the public.

254-501-7568 | jferraro@kdhnews.com

(5) comments

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Copy: 'On Thursday, the Herald requested a copy of the agreement between the city and new chemical plant under the Texas Public Information Act. In addition, the Herald asked city representatives and Executive Director of the Killeen Economic Development Corporation John Crutchfield. The questions are:
1) What is the cost of the chemical plant to taxpayers?
2) What does the cost of 50 percent in property taxes amount to with the property?
3) How many years will that tax plan last?
4) What is the cost of construction?
5) What is the cost of the rail spur?
6) Who will pay for the rail spur?
7) What is the volume of water the plant will use?
8) How will the water be treated and released?
9) What chemicals will be used and how will they be stored?
10) What air permits are required for the chemical plant?
11) What emissions will be released?
12) What are the actual number of jobs that will be hired locally?
13) What is the estimated total dollar amount that will be paid to the chemical company by the city, EDC or any other organization?
14) Did the chemical plan receive any county, state or federal funding?
15) Do these types of chemical plants normally locate in a high population area?' End of copy.

I've asked this question before, without success: What is the tabulation, or total count of such a question? I think that such a question, if it does not place the total number of people who answered such a question, and the specifics of what the question asks what the specific answers to the question can and are misleading.

The question for this week is:
Do you approve of plans to locate a chemical plant that makes Hydrogen Peroxide in the Killeen Industrial Park?

The 'approved' answers are:
Yes: 'The company will bring industry to the community and create high paying jobs'.

Yes: 'As long as there are adequate safeguards in place, it's a good addition to the area'.

No: 'The plant will produce a highly volatile compound, which is a safety concern'.

No: 'Putting the plant so close to residential areas and a school is dangerous'.

Unsure: 'Without knowing all of the details, it's hard to say if the plant is a good fit'.

Without knowing what the 'size, or numerical value of the question is, how much 'faith' is one supposed to find in a question of this magnitude, is it 10 people, it it 100 people, or is it 10,000 people in this random sampling.

The sampling of such a question, again, is misleading; 'who is to know whether this facility is a good fit into this community or not without first having the specifics.

Or; if there are adequate safe guards???? Of one is not learned in 'what are adequate safeguards, then who knows.

And my favorite; Who gave this group the power to stipulate what this city would offer in regards to questions 1 thru 15????

These questions have not been answered as of yet.

Here is copy of significant content:
Copy: 'Hydrogen peroxide is not considered an explosive. However, when it is mixed with organic substances at significant concentrations, hazardous impact-sensitive compounds may result. Small amounts of other materials that contain catalysts (silver, lead, copper, chromium, mercury, and iron oxide rust) can cause rapid decomposition and an explosive pressure rupture of the containing vessel if it is not properly vented.
In addition to accelerated decomposition through contamination, the decomposition rate of hydrogen peroxide is increased with alkalinity, contact with certain materials of construction, and increasing temperatures. The rate of decomposition increases approximately 2.2 times for each 10 degrees C rise in temperature in the range from 20 degrees C to 100 degrees C, or 1.5 times for each 10 degrees F rise from 68 degrees F to 212 degrees F.
Decreasing temperatures have little effect on hydrogen peroxide until they drop substantially below 0 degrees C. Crystals do not begin to appear in 35% and 50% solutions until -33C (-27.4F) and -52.2C (-62F), respectively.'
And-
Continuation of copy: 'Inhalation of hydrogen peroxide vapors can cause irritation and inflammation of the respiratory tract. For this reason, the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists has determined a Threshold Limit Value (LTV) or 1 ppm (1.4mg/m3) of hydrogen peroxide vapor in air as a maximum exposure limit for any eight-hour workday of a normal 40-hour work week. If hydrogen peroxide vapor is inhaled, fresh air should be sought at once; if the inhalation has been prolonged, a physician should be consulted immediately.' End of copy.

This should give the reader what he or she needs to know to formulate a cohesive answer.

But I still want to know 'who gave this group the idea that they 'enter into negotiations of this magnitude bypassing this city council????

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
I hear you @Pharon Enochs:, @user4574: and @THUGNIFICENT KILLED ME: to each of you I again say 'I hear you'. But this city council, this city administrative group apparently 'does not'.
@Pharon Enochs: I too 'think that the way of this city administrative group handed, or mishandled the audit,'it was a sham' and so is 'what is to transpire in the future', this will be the true fact of 'how this city is going to conduct city business in the future. Words are meaningless unless they are responsible for action.
@user4574: Herein again I hear you. And what about the chemical plant that just exploded after Hurricane Harvey? Excessive temperature is and was the culprit in that explosion. Lack of sufficient cooling ability which would be the same exact condition that would be present 'if' this chemical plant is to be placed at it's present location.
And @THUGNIFICENT KILLED ME: I too wonder 'how this city administrative group is responsible for allowing a 'KDEC' group to administer tax cuts, can alter what this city administrative group can effectuate what the city plans for street, water, sewer, can be administered to 'a new company that they want to locate to the city of Killeen'. How can they do it 'without prior authorization from the city council'. It is my understanding that our mayor, nor our city manager does not have the authority to authorize such undertakings, so how has this come to pass????

And I agree, 'who gave the instruction to allow this KDEC group to handle such activities, apparently in secret, that the 'rest of the city council members were not told'.

My suggestion is 'adjacent to the new Police Department Building and place a moratorium on completing any additional structures within a mile of these structures'.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Pharon Enochs

The following comments are indeed the opinions of Pharon Enochs. Mrs. Fleming is concerned about the lack of transparency regarding the chemical company. Welcome to the real word mam this is the way you and your little playmates on the city council have treated the citizens of this city for years. It appears the citizens of this city are treated like mushrooms kept out of sight and fed bull dung. A small example is the recent audit, because of the way it was handled a lot of folks think the "fix" was in when the results were made public. The audit company said words to the effect there did not appear to be any fraud/abuse but documents were not provided about a lot of incidents. So was the city being completely transparent with the audit company?
A lot of documents were being destroyed when the audit was being discussed from what I have read. So where is your concern regarding this taking place? I guess you want to move along, it's water under the bridge, it's over, meanwhile the city is suffering a loss of a lot of quality of life issues but apparently this is just fine. A small example of lack of concern is animals at the shelter will suffer because they cannot vote and all the city manager and mayor can say we are not in favor of killing animals . Their words are cheap and loss in the wind because by most accounts that will be the end results more dead animals and few if any of the city politicians will care. A lot of their findings by the audit company sure looked like abuse of public funds to me. I would venture to say if this had been a forensic audit there would have been findings of both abuse and fraud. It appears to me few if any of the taxpayer supported organizations in this town understand the meaning of the word transparent, this includes the city, the school district, the EDC and others. SMH what a shame, so if the shoe fits I would suggest you wear it. Meanwhile myself and others prefer hip high boots as protection from all the bull dung in this town. God bless America, President Trump and John Wayne wherever he may be.

user4574

Thug, Hydrogen Peroxide is a liquid at room temperature, not a gas. The only concern that everyone should be thinking about is the explosive potential of this chemical. According to the National Institute for Health, H2O2 gets extremely dangerous when concentrations are above 40% by weight. The article states that this new facility is planning to create 100% pure H2O2. The velocity of exploding H2O2 can reach speeds of 6,500 meters/second.

In my opinion, If the chemical company was seriously concerned with the hazards, they would have been looking to build outside of Killeen; such as the outskirts of Copperas Cove, or south along hwy. 195. How many schools do you see next to the chemical plants in Houston?

THUGNIFICENT KILLED ME

Under what authority does the so called KEDC plan to give tax cuts to the company that plans to make the dangerous gas 1 mile away from KHS?

How does an unelected body get to say what the little city that could never say NO does with the tax money is scams from shoppers?

Just one more reason why I avoid shopping in the little city that KILLS you.

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