Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 26, 2013

A different product

Rep says Milford plant won’t have fertilizer believed to cause blast

MILFORD — A deadly fertilizer plant explosion in Texas has resulted in a company building a fertilizer retail/distribution center along the Elkhart-Kosciusko county line saying that such a disaster is unlikely to occur here.

Trupointe, an agriculture cooperative based in Piqua, Ohio, said this week that its fertilizer and grain center is much different than the Texas plant, which had explosive ammonium nitrate fertilizer on site.

“The west Texas scenario is very, very different than the sort of business at Trupointe that we will run in Milford,” said Mike Jackson, marketing and strategy officer for the company. “...The blast profile there looks to us as if it was made by ammonium nitrate. It is a form of fertilizer, but not used, made or stored by Trupointe. So, from a safety standpoint, Trupointe has a much safer product risk profile...”

Trupointe is just starting to move earth on 250 acres of former farmland along C.R. 1400 North, east of Old Ind. 15.

The complex will be serviced by a rail loop that will allow freight trains, according to Jackson, to off load potash and phosphates that are used to fertilize farm fields and to ship out large amounts of local grains during harvests. The loop will connect the east-west CSX line and the north-south Norfolk-Southern line that intersect at Milford Junction at the southwest corner of the property.

Safety is a big concern of the company, Jackson said, and workers at each of the co-op’s sites in Ohio and Indiana undergo monthly training for products that are on those sites.

Jackson said the company does sell one substance that can be hazardous to humans, anhydrous ammonia. That common farm fertilizer product is a non-flammable corrosive substance that will be secured in fenced areas, most likely topped with razor wire. Jackson said the problem with anhydrous ammonia is not so much the hazard of the compound, but that people who make the illegal drug methamphetamine steal it to use as one ingredient in the chemistry of the drug.

He said the plant will mix fertilizer compounds on site, but those will dry products that are mixed with water so they can be sprayed on farm fields.

“That is a normal practice. Everyone in the agribusiness does the same,” Jackson said. “For us, by having this state-of-the art facility, we are able to do those things without concern of equipment failures and those sorts of things, because it’s a new facility.”

Not much concern

Doug Ruch spends his days under the hoods and bodies of broken cars. He operates an auto mechanic business along Ind. 15 in Milford, about two miles from the new plant site. In his spare time he serves as the Town Council president and has been a volunteer firefighter for 34 years. He said he has not heard any negative comments about the Trupointe plant since the Texas blast. But there are a lot of positives.

“It is going to bring a tremendous amount of economic benefit and jobs to the area,” Ruch said.

Jackson said the plant will provide up to 70 jobs, as well as providing local farmers a place to sell their grains and buy their fertilizers.

Ruch said Trupointe officials are concerned about safety and have begun talking to local emergency officials about training them on processes and equipment at the plant. The first phase of construction, which is the fertilizer portion, is expected to be completed in 2014. After that grain storage will be added.

“Trupointe is making training available once they get construction going,” Ruch said.

Cooperative effort

The state of Indiana does not require safety plans for fertilizer plants, according to several Indiana media outlets. Such plants are under the jurisdiction of the state chemist’s office.

On the local level, Ed Rock, emergency management manager for Kosciusko County, said the county’s emergency personnel meet often to exchange information and to plan for emergency scenarios.

“We have a huge, active firemen’s association in the county as well as another one of just the chiefs, who meet on a regular basis and discuss what needs to happen (in emergencies),” Rock said.

He said the county’s emergency plan does not address any specific companies, but is an overall plan to coordinate response by emergency agencies.

“What we are more interested in is interaction on a major incident so we don’t have duplicate or redundance of effort,” Rock said. “(It’s about) How we are going to manage an efficient response.”

He said individual fire and police departments develop their own plans based on facilities in their communities.

“I can assure you, once it is operational the Milford Fire Department will be knocking on their door and saying ‘What do you have there?” Rock said.

Neighbors

Steve and Mary Hofstetter live in a farmhouse on six acres of land with their four children at the corner of C.R. 1400 North and C.R. 100 East. To them their rural, quiet life is threatened by the construction of the Trupointe plant across the road.

Steve Hofstetter said when he learned the plant would be built, which was way before the Texas blast, he talked to a Trupointe official about the family’s concerns over noise, air and water pollution, their property value and the loss of their quiet, rural way of life, which included intangibles, such as the nightly view of sunsets to the west.

“We are concerned about an explosion, but also the average every day smell and things we will experience,” Steve Hofstetter said.

He said he offered to sell the farmstead to Trupointe as a way of financing the family’s relocation, but an official said the company was not interested.

“All the concerns I had and shared had nothing to do with explosions. I would still have all those concerns even if there was no explosion concern,” he said.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Goshen City Hall GOSHEN BOARD OF WORKS: Gravel lot approved for Forest River

    GOSHEN — The employee parking areas for a new manufacturing facility within the Century Drive Industrial Park on Goshen’s south side will be allowed to remain unpaved, though that doesn’t mean the city has to like it.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140722 fair food drive 03 Fair's food drive falls short of world record, but is still a success

    For a 24-hour period, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair “All IN” food drive committee attempted a “Guinness Book of World Records” for the largest single-day food drive. Their goal: 560,000 pounds of food collected from 1 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140722 fair special needs awareness 02 Many enjoy Disabilities Awareness Day at the fair

    Barry Malone stepped off the Orient Express roller coaster ride, grinning. “That I was fun. I liked that,” Malone said with a laugh. “That was a good ride, too.” Malone attended the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Monday and participated in the Disabilities Awareness Day activities and events at Heritage Park, just inside the main gate.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN131016 county commissioners ELKHART COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: Volume cranked up on noise violators

    Elkhart County Commissioners Monday approved the adoption of an ordinance amending the current Elkhart County Noise Ordinance to include stricter penalties for repeat violators.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN140721 fair ride 01.jpg SLIDESHOW: Francesca Battistelli at the fair Christian artist Francesca Battistelli performed at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Sunday night.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 fair parade 43 THE PASSING PARADE GOSHEN — The Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade wound its way from downtown Goshen to the fairgrounds Sunday afternoon, bringing smiles to the faces of adults and children alike with horns, sirens, candy and fun floats. Gail Janssen, of Goshen, said that

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SLIDESHOW: Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade

    July 20, 2014

  • 0720 fair faces Giddens Katheryn Giddens joined 4-H on a whim GOSHEN — She’d have a hard time convincing her 4-H fair family now, but when Katheryn Giddens started her first year in the program, she was shy. “I hardly ever talked. I just showed up and did my thing and didn’t talk much at all,” she said. Gidden

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 22 states have jobless rate drop

    WASHINGTON22 states have jobless rate dropUnemployment rates dropped in 22 U.S. states last month and stayed the same in 14, as the nation at large posted a fifth straight month of solid hiring.The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates

    July 20, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success