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Concerns Over Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Hit Home

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UPDATED: Thursday April 18, 2013 7:01 PM

The explosion at the fertilizer plant in West Texas has raised concerns in central Ohio. 

Scotts Miracle-Gro processes fertilizer at its plant in Marysville. A spokesperson for the company said one of the most important parts of their manufacturing is safety.

The spokesperson told 10TV it works closely with state and local agencies, such as the local fire department, when doing drills in case of emergency.

“What happened in Texas was a tragedy and that always causes everyone to pause and say, ‘Hey look, are we doing everything we can to be as safe as possible?” said Lance Latham, director of public affairs for Scotts Miracle-Gro.

On a campus of more than 1,000 people, and with a company nearly 150 years old, there are a lot of trade secrets to Scotts’ success.  

But the spokesperson was clear about what is not in its products.  

“We do not use anhydrous ammonia or ammonium nitrates here in Marysville,” said Latham.

Latham said it is those volatile chemicals that caused such a massive explosion in Texas, which affected not only the business itself and the workers, but also the neighborhoods nearby.

Marysville resident Jim Lowe told 10TV he worked at Scotts for nearly four decades. He is retired now, but still lives in the footprint of the factory.

“The whole time I worked there, that always kind of wondered about that stuff, the explosions and stuff now, with all the chemicals they have around there,” said Lowe.

He says he was not too concerned about himself or his neighbors, but he said he never says “never,” living so close to the plant.

“You hear it running at nighttime, and everything like that. You never know,” said Lowe. “I guess that's the chances you have to take.”

Scotts' environmental team said they have not had any emergency responses in their Marysville facility over the past year, but said they're always working to make their factory safer.

“You know when an accident happens somewhere else, you know, can everybody learn from it,” said Latham.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro spokesperson said it is too early to determine whether they need to make changes to any of their safety operations, but said the company will be watching the investigation in Texas closely, in hopes of learning from the results.

Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for more information.