Beaumont, Texas – Unified Command reports ongoing response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations remain focused on safely bringing the event to an end.
Situational update: The fire has been extinguished and efforts are focused on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to the environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders.
The voluntary evacuation order put in place by Jefferson County and the City of Port Neches was lifted at 12:29 p.m. today (Thursday). Unified Command will continue to monitor air in the community and provide updates as they are available.
Air Quality update: Unified Command continues to monitor air quality around the facility and in the community. This morning, responders closed a leaking pressure relief valve, the source of elevated butadiene readings. Air monitoring immediately showed significant reduction of butadiene levels following the closure.
Breathing or inhaling airborne butadiene can cause sensory irritation or temporary discomfort and nuisance-type health impacts. Butadiene levels detected near the facility and in the community throughout the course of this event have remained far below levels that could contribute to long-term health risk.
Technical Response update: As previously reported, 12 tanks on site were impacted by the fire. TPC Group plans to safely transport remaining materials from the plant. All tanks containing materials are being evaluated and prioritized for action. To further protect remaining materials, TPC Group will introduce inhibitors to stabilize materials in the tanks. Equipment used to safely transport material from the site is being assessed. If this equipment cannot be used safely, an alternate plan will be executed, up to and including safe destruction of the material on site.
Claims activities update: Approximately 200 claims representatives, including call center operators, field claim adjusters and claims processors, are in the area. Field representatives are in the field from 8:00 a.m. to one hour before sundown daily in the areas of highest impact. A Claims Processing Center is in place at 511 Grigsby Ave., Port Neches, TX 77651 and is completing claims by appointment from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00