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News Release #46 – Tuesday Situational Update

Port Arthur, Texas – Unified Command, including TCEQ, TPC Group and Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, reports that response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end.

There have been no significant changes since update #45, issued on January 13. Response efforts continue to focus on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.

Situation Update. TPC Group Port Neches Operations continues the de-inventory process to further secure the site and safely transfer all remaining materials. Based on successful mechanical integrity inspections of tanks and equipment, the Company initiated the flow of materials from tanks for barge loading. “Finished” or high purity 1,3 butadiene was prioritized for first transfer. Significant progress has been made. The transfer of lower purity 1,3 butadiene will commence next, followed by raffinate, polyblend and other process materials. It will take several weeks to complete the transfer of materials from the site.

As tanks containing materials are evaluated, materials in the tanks are prioritized for transfer and a method is identified. The site has rail, barge and pipeline capability to transfer materials. Determining which mode is used to transfer materials offsite is part of the evaluation. Tank evaluations and inspections are an ongoing process and no tanks are de-inventoried unless deemed operationally safe for the process. Flaring activities at the dock continue to support these efforts. Occasional elevated air measurements may register on site as response teams continue to secure the site.  

With oversight by TCEQ, TPC Group continues to conduct air monitoring and air sampling activities onsite and in the community. Samples collected in the community continue to confirm no actionable levels of butadiene.

Property Claims Deadline: TPC Group’s voluntary claims process has received high levels of participation since it went into effect on November 27. More than 17,800 claims have been paid for expense reimbursement from the mandatory evacuation. The evacuation-only claims portion of the voluntary program is now closed.

TPC Group will now focus resources on resolving property damage claims of residents in the community. Property claims must be filed by Tuesday, February 4, 2020 to be considered as part of the voluntary claims process.

Home inspections and potential payments for claims filed before the deadline will be completed by appointment over the next several months. To date, more than 5,800 property inspections have been performed. Given the volume of outstanding property claims, it is expected to take several months to process new claims. Property claims can be filed by calling the TPC Group Community Assistance Helpline which operates 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Property claims settlements are by appointment only at the Armory Claims Center, located at 511 Grigsby Ave. in Port Neches, Texas.

The Unified Command Joint Information Center is managing inquiries via the official response website at www.portnechesresponse.com, as well as through established social media channels on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC and Twitter (@PortNechesUC).

Residents are also encouraged to register for updates from the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN). Call 1-877-843-7826 (toll-free) anytime to hear important alerts and notifications, or visit www.thestan.com to register for notifications.

 

News Release #45 – Monday Situational Update

Port Arthur, Texas – Unified Command, including TCEQ, TPC Group and Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, reports that response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end. Response efforts continue to focus on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.

Situation Update. TPC Group Port Neches Operations began the de-inventory process last week to further secure the site and safely transfer all remaining materials. Based on successful mechanical integrity inspections of tanks and equipment, the Company initiated the flow of materials from tanks for barge loading. “Finished” or high purity 1,3 butadiene was prioritized for first transfer and is underway. The transfer of lower purity 1,3 butadiene will commence next, followed by raffinate, polyblend and other process materials. It will take several weeks to complete the transfer of materials from the site.

As tanks containing materials are evaluated, materials in the tanks are prioritized for transfer and a method is identified. The site has rail, barge and pipeline capability to transfer materials. Determining which mode is used to transfer materials offsite is part of the evaluation. Tank evaluations and inspections are an ongoing process and no tanks are de-inventoried unless deemed operationally safe for the process. Flaring activities at the dock continue to support these efforts. Occasional elevated air measurements may register on site as response teams continue to secure the site.  

At approximately 1:10 p.m. today, a leak was identified inside the fence line of TPC Group Port Neches Operations. Air monitoring teams were activated and the plant alarm was sounded. The leak resulted in elevated levels of VOCs being detected within the fence line. The source of the leak was identified and quickly mitigated. An all clear was issued at approximately 2:05 p.m.

With oversight by TCEQ, TPC Group continues to conduct air monitoring and air sampling activities onsite and in the community. Samples collected in the community continue to confirm no actionable levels of butadiene.

Deadline for Evacuation Claims. The TPC Group Community Assistance Helpline operates 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. To make an appointment to settle an evacuation claim, residents can call the Community Assistance Helpline at 866.601.5880. Evacuation claim settlements are by appointment only at the Armory Claims Center, located at 511 Grigsby Ave. in Port Neches, Texas.

As a reminder, given the high number of evacuation claims already settled, low call volume and recent decline in residents setting appointments for evacuation-only claims, our intent is to complete the “evacuation-only” claims process by Monday, January 20. Residents are asked to please call and make “evacuation-only” claims appointment as soon as possible. TPC Group will redeploy resources to accelerate the property claims process as evacuation-only appointments continue to decline. Impacted residents filing a property claim can still settle their evacuation claim simultaneously even after January 20, and therefore do not need to set up an “evacuation-only” claims appointment.

The Unified Command Joint Information Center is managing inquiries via the official response website at www.portnechesresponse.com, as well as through established social media channels on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC and Twitter (@PortNechesUC).

Residents are also encouraged to register for updates from the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN). Call 1-877-843-7826 (toll-free) anytime to hear important alerts and notifications, or visit www.thestan.com to register for notifications.

 

 

News Release #44 – Monday Situational Update

Port Arthur, Texas – Unified Command, including TCEQ, TPC Group and Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, reports that response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end. Response efforts continue to focus on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.

Situation Update. TPC Group plans to begin the de-inventory process this week. To safely transfer all remaining materials from the site, based on successful mechanical integrity inspections of tanks and equipment, the Company will initiate the flow of materials from tanks for barge loading. The restart of equipment, specifically flaring activity at the docks, will continue to support the de-inventory process. Flaring is a normal part of a shutdown or start up process and helps ensure that facilities are environmentally sound. The use of the flare will ensure materials can be safely transferred out of the facility during the de-inventory process.

Deadline for Evacuation Claims. The TPC Group Community Assistance Helpline operates 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. To make an appointment to settle an evacuation claim, residents can call the Community Assistance Helpline at 866.601.5880. Evacuation claim settlements are by appointment only at the Armory Claims Center, located at 511 Grigsby Ave. in Port Neches, Texas.

Given the high number of evacuation claims already settled, low call volume and recent decline in residents setting appointments for an evacuation-only claim, our intent is to complete the “evacuation-only” claim process by Monday, January 20. Please call and make your “evacuation-only” claim appointment as soon as possible. TPC Group will redeploy resources to accelerate the property claims process as evacuation-only appointments continue to decline. Impacted residents filing a property claim can still settle their evacuation claim simultaneously even after January 19, and therefore do not need to set up an “evacuation-only” claim appointment.

The Unified Command Joint Information Center is managing inquiries via the official response website at www.portnechesresponse.com, as well as through established social media channels on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC and Twitter (@PortNechesUC).

Residents are also encouraged to register for updates from the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN). Call 1-877-843-7826 (toll-free) anytime to hear important alerts and notifications, or visit www.thestan.com to register for notifications.

News Release #43 – Evacuation Claims Deadline

Port Arthur, Texas – Unified Command, including TCEQ, TPC Group and Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, reports that response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end. Response efforts continue to focus on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.

Deadline for Evacuation Claims. The TPC Group Community Assistance Helpline operates 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. To make an appointment to settle an evacuation claim, residents can call the Community Assistance Helpline at 866.601.5880. Evacuation claim settlements are by appointment only at the Armory Claims Center, located at 511 Grigsby Ave. in Port Neches, Texas.

Given the high number of evacuation claims already settled, low call volume and recent decline in residents setting appointments for an evacuation-only claim, our intent is to complete the “evacuation-only” claim process by Monday, January 20. Please call and make your “evacuation-only” claim appointment as soon as possible. TPC Group will redeploy resources to accelerate the property claims process as evacuation-only appointments continue to decline. Impacted residents filing a property claim can still settle their evacuation claim simultaneously even after January 19, and therefore do not need to set up an “evacuation-only” claim appointment.

The Unified Command Joint Information Center is managing inquiries via the official response website at www.portnechesresponse.com, as well as through established social media channels on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC and Twitter (@PortNechesUC).

Residents are also encouraged to register for updates from the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN). Call 1-877-843-7826 (toll-free) anytime to hear important alerts and notifications, or visit www.thestan.com to register for notifications.

 

News Release # 42-Traffic Update Correction

Port Arthur, Texas – Unified Command, including TCEQ, TPC Group and Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, reports that response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end. Response efforts continue to focus on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.

Situational Update: Plans are underway to safely transfer all remaining materials from the site, based on mechanical integrity inspections of tanks and equipment. As part of this effort, TPC Group plans to restart some equipment on-site this week to further enable response efforts. The restart of this equipment, specifically flaring activity at the docks, may be heard or seen off-site. Flaring is a normal part of a shutdown or start up process and helps ensure that facilities are environmentally sound. The use of the flare will ensure materials can be safely transferred out of the facility once the de-inventory process begins.

Traffic Update: Highway 366 between Spur 136 and Park Ave, in front of the TPC Group’s Port Neches Operations, will partially reopen on Saturday, December 28, at 6am. This stretch of road, which has been closed to through traffic since November 27, 2019, will open to one lane travel in each direction. A speed restriction will be in effect to ensure the continued safety of response personnel. An updated road closure map can be found here: 366 Contraflow Map

The Unified Command Joint Information Center is managing inquiries via the official response website at www.portnechesresponse.com, as well as through established social media channels on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC and Twitter (@PortNechesUC).

Residents are also encouraged to register for updates from the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN). Call 1-877-843-7826 (toll-free) anytime to hear important alerts and notifications, or visit www.thestan.com to register for notifications.

 

 

 

News Release # 41-Thursday Situational Update

Port Arthur, Texas – Unified Command, including TCEQ, TPC Group and Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, reports that response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end. Response efforts continue to focus on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.

Situational Update: Plans are underway to safely transfer all remaining materials from the site, based on mechanical integrity inspections of tanks and equipment. As part of this effort, TPC Group plans to restart some equipment on-site this week to further enable response efforts. The restart of this equipment, specifically flaring activity at the docks, may be heard or seen off-site. Flaring is a normal part of a shutdown or start up process and helps ensure that facilities are environmentally sound. The use of the flare will ensure materials can be safely transferred out of the facility once the de-inventory process begins.

Traffic Update: Highway 366 between Spur 128 and Park Ave, in front of the TPC Group’s Port Neches Operations, will partially reopen on Saturday, December 28, at 6am. This stretch of road, which has been closed to through traffic since November 27, 2019, will open to one lane travel in each direction. A speed restriction will be in effect to ensure the continued safety of response personnel. An updated road closure map can be found here: 366 Contraflow Map

The Unified Command Joint Information Center is managing inquiries via the official response website at www.portnechesresponse.com, as well as through established social media channels on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC and Twitter (@PortNechesUC).

Residents are also encouraged to register for updates from the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN). Call 1-877-843-7826 (toll-free) anytime to hear important alerts and notifications, or visit www.thestan.com to register for notifications.

 

 

 

News Release #40 – Sunday Situational Update

Port Arthur, Texas – Unified Command, including TCEQ, TPC Group and Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, reports that response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end. Response efforts continue to focus on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.

Plant Alarm System Update:  TPC Group has installed on-site a replacement plant alarm system. The new system will be quality tested at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 23. There will be eight short alerts, followed by one steady alert to indicate an all clear. Testing is expected to be complete by 10 a.m. Neighbors near Port Neches Operations may hear elevated noise during this time.

To hear what the alarm alert sounds like, click here:  https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/tpc.holdings/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/12/22093628/8-blast-rev3.wav

To hear what the all clear alert sounds like, click here:  https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/tpc.holdings/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/12/22093620/steady-rev2.wav

Following this initial test, regular weekly alarm tests will resume every Wednesday at noon, beginning 12/25/19.  The replacement alarm system will be located on-site and remain in use until the permanent alarm system is returned to operation. We appreciate your patience as this essential safety equipment is put in place.

Situational Update: TPC Group has restored lighting to select units in the plant. The restoration of power to some lights on-site, and the restart of specialized equipment such as generators and pumps, is furthering a safe response effort. Teams continue to conduct mechanical integrity inspections of tanks and associated piping and equipment to ensure the eventual safe transfer of all remaining materials from the site.

The Unified Command Joint Information Center is managing inquiries via the official response website at www.portnechesresponse.com, as well as through established social media channels on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC and Twitter (@PortNechesUC).

Residents are also encouraged to register for updates from the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN). Call 1-877-843-7826 (toll-free) anytime to hear important alerts and notifications, or visit www.thestan.com to register for notifications.

 

News Release #39: Friday Operational Update

Port Arthur, Texas – Unified Command, including TCEQ, TPC Group and Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, reports that response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end. Response efforts continue to focus on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.

Plant Alarm System Update:  TPC Group has installed on-site a replacement alarm system. The new system will be quality tested at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 23. Neighbors near Port Neches Operations may hear elevated noise levels in the area due to the testing.

Following this initial test, regular weekly alarm tests will resume every Wednesday at noon. The replacement alarm system will be located on-site and remain in use until the permanent alarm system is returned to operation. We appreciate your patience as we put this essential safety equipment in place.

Situational Update:  Due to the stability of present response efforts, future news releases from Unified Command will be issued only as new information becomes available or the current situation changes.  The latest updates will continue to be posted here: https://portnechesresponse.com/port-neches-response-unified-command-current-situational-update/

The Unified Command Joint Information Center will manage inquiries via the official response website at www.portnechesresponse.com, as well as the established social media channels on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC and Twitter (@PortNechesUC).

Residents are also encouraged to register for updates from the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN). Call 1-877-843-7826 (toll-free) anytime to hear important alerts and notifications, or visit www.thestan.com to register for notifications.

 

News Release #38 – Thursday Operational Update

Port Arthur, Texas – Unified Command, including TCEQ, TPC Group and Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, reports that response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end. Response efforts continue to focus on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.

Situational update: There have been no significant changes since update #37, issued yesterday. As part of response efforts, TPC Group is working to restart specific equipment on-site such as generators and pumps. The restart of this equipment may be heard off-site. Separately, TPC Group plans to install on-site a replacement alarm system. Unified Command will notify the public with specific alarm testing dates and times, once available. There may be elevated noise levels in the area near Port Neches Operations due to the testing.

Environmental update: Environmental data has not produced new results that would present the potential for an impact to human health.

Traffic Update: Portions of Spur 366 remain closed for the safety of the responders and the surrounding area. Traffic updates will continue to be provided as available. The latest traffic information follows:

Closed – Portions of Spur 136 near TPC Port Neches Operations remain closed, including:

  • Intersection of Spur 136 at Highway 366
  • Spur 136 to Highway 366 in front of TPC Port Neches Operations
  • Highway 366 between Spur 136 & Park Street

Public Information Update: Updates and information regarding the event will continue to be posted in easily accessible locations, including:

On the web: www.portnechesresponse.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC

Twitter: @PortNechesUC

STAN: www.thestan.com

U.S. EPA: www.response.epa.gov/south4groupfire

TCEQ: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/response/tpc-incident

STAN: Residents are encouraged to register for updates from the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN). STAN is a notification system developed by Jefferson, Orange and Hardin Counties, in partnership with the Industry in Southeast Texas, the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission and local media. STAN provides the latest information about area emergencies, plant operations or weather events. Call 1-877-843-7826 (toll-free) anytime to hear important alerts and notifications, or visit www.thestan.com to register for notifications.

 

News Release #37 – Wednesday Situational Update

Port Arthur, Texas – Unified Command, including TCEQ, TPC Group and Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, reports that response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end.

Response efforts are focused on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.

Situational update: There have been no significant changes since update #36, issued yesterday.

As a reminder, TPC Group plans to restart some equipment on-site this week to further enable response and efforts. The restart of this equipment may be heard off-site.

Separately, TPC Group also plans to install on-site a replacement alarm system this week. Unified Command will notify the public with specific testing dates and times, once available. There may be elevated noise levels in the area near Port Neches Operations due to the testing.

Environmental update: Air and water quality monitoring is ongoing and continues to confirm no health impacts to air or water in the community.

Traffic Update: Portions of Spur 366 remain closed for the safety of the responders and the surrounding area. Traffic updates will continue to be provided as available. The latest traffic information follows:

Closed – Portions of Spur 136 near TPC Port Neches Operations remain closed, including:

  • Intersection of Spur 136 at Highway 366
  • Spur 136 to Highway 366 in front of TPC Port Neches Operations
  • Highway 366 between Spur 136 & Park Street

Public Information Update: Updates and information regarding the event will continue to be posted:

On the web: www.portnechesresponse.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC

Twitter: @PortNechesUC

U.S. EPA: www.response.epa.gov/south4groupfire

TCEQ: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/response/tpc-incident