Dept. of Public Safety to UT: Please Ditch The Photos of Flood-Related Chemical Spills We Didn’t Notice

DEPT. OF PUBLIC SAFETY TO UT: PLEASE DITCH THE PHOTOS OF FLOOD-RELATED CHEMICAL SPILLS WE DIDN’T NOTICE Meanwhile, in Austin: Texas Department of Public Safety officials have recently asked the University of Texas to remove an online collection of aerial photos taken by the Texas Civil Air Patrol during major flooding events, Marty Schladen writes in this weekend’s El Paso Times. The request comes after the Times reported earlier this spring on what appeared to be photos in the database showing a number of chemical spills not captured in any other state monitoring records, including spills along the Trinity river north of Galveston Bay; other photo sets previously on the site reportedly included shots of Houston sewage treatment plants being flooded on Tax Day, as well as possible unreported spills along the Colorado, Sabine, Red, and Pecos rivers since 2014. DPS Spokesman Tom Vinger tells the Times that pulling the photos is a matter of protecting privacy — “for example, there could be pictures of deceased individuals prior to family members being appropriately notified first,” says Vinger. Non-emergency-responders can still ask for the photos via Public Information Act request. [El Paso Times]

4 Comment

  • Lovely. The Department of Public SAFETY telling another state institution to HIDE photos /pics/video of SPILLED chemicals.. I guess so the TCEQ won’t have to do it’s job – ENFORCE the anti-pollution laws. The most ironic karma would be all of the republican douche bag government officials who absconded their sworn duties getting cancer or something from chemicals !!!

  • While sensitive to the possibility, I think the odds are pretty astronomical that someone is going to spot a dead body in one of those aerial photos. And, if seen, the DPS can flag that particular photo for pulling from the public domain.
    As for the photos of the chemical spills, leave those out there.

  • privacy trumps safety if you work for the DPS apparently. no surprise there.

  • That’s the most Texas response to a problem ever.

    Problem: Photos show that flooding in oil and gas production fields has resulted in contamination that, to date, have resulted in no public warnings and no containment or cleanup efforts by either state or private actors.

    State solution: Hide the photos.