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MICKEY TORRES Valley Interfaith Convention JULY 27, 1990 VOLUME 82, No. 15 FEATURES Clayton Williams and Texas Water By Allan Freedman 4 And the Horse He Rode In On By Michael King 12 Bustin’ Budgets By Stephen Merelman 14 Halfway to Equity By Brett Campbell 17 DEPARTMENTS Books and the Culture Beyond a Shadow of Truth By Steven Kellman 18 No Exit By Michael King 19 Afterword Patriotic Chore By James McCarty Yeager 23 T! TEXAS b N server nation to get rid of the tanks, extensive research and meetings revealed that the tanks could not be removed. Given that reality, the strategy of the organization was three-fold: state laws that would prevent this situation from occurring again. Metro Alliance called for a public hearing for early December. At that meeting the organization stated its demands. After several negotiating sessions with city officials and the Koch Company, the demands made at the December public hearing were agreed to and announced in late January. These included: Three backup fire protection systems that have been installed at the storage facility. Koch security personnel will be on duty at the site 24 hours a day for security and safety purposes. An independent consultant has been hired to monitor the safety measures of the facility. A zoning amendment has been adopted that will require city council approval in the future for fuel-storage sites. An evacuation plan has been developed for the area surrounding the fuel dump, and the city has agreed to widen East Houston Street and extend other streets in the area to provide more adequate evacuation routes. Koch Refining has contracted with Lloyds of London for liability coverage of more that $50 million. An outdoor warning system will be installed to warn residents of emergencies. Koch Refining and other storage-terminal operators in San Antonio have agreed to buy 5,000 gallons of foams to be used in fighting fires. The organization recognized that politics is about compromise. Given the legal and political realities of this situation, the compromise negotiated was the best that could be achieved. The situation showed gross neglect on the part of city and state officials who let this happen. They followed the letter of the law, but ignored the community. Should gasoline storage tanks be in neighborhoods and near schools? No. Could they have been totally removed? No. Are the safety precautions, evacuation plans and city ordinance a viable compromise? Yes. Currently, the Metro Alliance is working with state Senator Frank Tejeda and state Representative Karyne Conley to introduce and pass state legislation that will prohibit tanks from being built without proper public notice and public hearings. The legislation to be introduced will also prohibit tanks from being built within a five-mile radius of schools and residences. Marcia Welch SUMMER BREAK After this issue is mailed, the Observer staff is taking a one-week summer break. Our next issue will be dated August 17. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3