Apr 11, 2007

California Water Treatment Plant Among Terrorist Risks

A water treatment plant in La Verne, Calif., was among 37 plants listed nationwide as susceptible to a terrorist attack. The La Verne plant was listed because it uses deadly chlorine gas that is transported in unprotected rail cars.

The San Gabriel Tribune reports that a study was put made by The Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., which identified plants that transport chlorine gas by rail as vulnerable to attacks that might jeopardize millions of nearby residents.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration plant in Sylmar was another plant listed as a threat.

Chlorine gas poses a danger because it can be deadly when inhaled. A rupture in a rail car could affect people within 14 miles in urban areas and 25 miles in the rural and suburban areas.

Alternatives to chlorine gas include liquid chlorine bleach and ultraviolet light, but utility officials believe that these are not as effective as chlorine gas.