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West Sacramento Fertilizer Plant Has Strong Safety Track Record

By Rob McAllister
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WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A large fertilizer plant in West Sacramento holds the same type of chemical as the plant that exploded in Texas. CBS13 visited the plant to see what steps they’ve taken to prevent a similar catastrophe from happening.

The first thing employees see when they walk through the doors is a banner that reads “safety.” They are words they cannot miss, and as history has shown, the 33 workers at the plant are keeping that top of mind.
“Our primary objective, our priority every single day, is to act as protectors,” said Agrium fertilizer plant manager Bob Franklin.

In other words, Franklin says they pride themselves on being one of the safest fertilizer producers in the country.

The plant carries the same anhydrous ammonia that was found at the site that exploded in west, Texas.

Agrium in West Sacramento is surrounded by several businesses as well. Franklin says being in California and near a major city they must follow rules and regulations set by eight different agencies. That makes Chris Kierney, who runs Petroleum Marketing Equipment, feel safe working next door.

“Yes we definitely do, we have a weekly alarm on Wednesdays that goes off at noon,” said Kierney. “We get email updates and phone calls from them.”

“People know what that means. They get an automatic text message — phone call — so they know how to shelter employees,” said Franklin.

The plant has had a strong safety record in its 40 years in Yolo County. The latest issue was in 2010 when a handful of people were hurt in an accident on the property. But for the most part, Agrium is praised by state and local regulators.

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