Plan to put chemical factory in Riviera Beach raises terrorism target concerns

A controversial plan is on the table to put a chemical factory right next to homes and a day care facility in Riviera Beach, and it's raising concerns about terrorism.

Odyssey Manufacturing, a company out of Tampa, wants to put a distribution center for Sodium Hypochlorite (commonly known as bleach) along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., between Congress Avenue and Australian Avenue.

"It's not gas. It's not ammonia. It's zero flammability. It's not dangerous," said Riviera Beach City Commissioner Terence Davis.

The three-stage facility will include eight 40,000 gallon storage tanks and plans for a 12,000 square foot warehouse and second storage area. It will be built on a 7 acre parcel of land, next to Stoney Brook Apartments.

The plan doesn't sit well with the mayor.

"It could be a terrorist target and if that's on the map jobs are off the map. There are better ways to get jobs and this is not the way we want to take risks," said Mayor Thomas Masters.

City Commissioner Terence Davis says the council would not put people in harms way.

Right now, there are no safety details on the chemical.

Riviera Beach resident Willis Williams likes the proposal and says the city needs it.

"We are not going to agree on everything. Nobody is, but some projects have to come to town," said Williams.

The project is expected to bring between 30 and 50 jobs with an average salary of $40,000 a year.

The next planning meeting is scheduled for January 26.

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