Port Arthur, 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: Response efforts continue to focus on activities to secure site equipment and minimize impact to the environment, while preserving the safety of emergency responders and the community.
On Monday (December 9), TPC Group began introducing DEHA (Diethylhydroxylamine) to storage tanks containing butadiene to stabilize the materials for longer-term storage, transportation, and removal from the site. DEHA injection for the high priority storage tanks containing butadiene is expected to be completed by Friday, December 13. All tanks containing materials are being evaluated and identified for inhibitor introduction, therefore additional tanks may need to receive DEHA. No off-site impacts or public health concerns are anticipated as part of the DEHA process.
Plans are underway to safely transfer all remaining materials from the site, based on mechanical integrity inspections of tanks. All tanks containing materials are being evaluated and prioritized for transfer. Options to safely transport materials from the site are being assessed.
On December 6, Unified Command identified small fires in the impacted area on site. These small residual fires are contained and have not increased in intensity since their discovery. Response teams continue to monitor and assess.
Air Monitoring update: In the last 24 hours, 3,474 air samples were collected. Only one air sample reading taken at the corner of FM 366 and Spur 136 near the fence line of the work site, showed an elevated butadiene level of 1.28 ppm. This reading was sustained for ten minutes, but quickly dissipated. The intersection of FM 366 and Spur 136, near TPC Group Port Neches Operations, has been closed since November 27. Unified Command, comprised of federal, state, local agencies and TPC Group, remains diligent in efforts to monitor air quality. Monitors are providing real-time air quality data to Unified Command.
As response efforts at Port Neches Operations remain stable, experts continue to evaluate monitoring data, and anticipate the monitoring area will be reduced and the quantity of stationary and roaming air readings will decrease. Occasional elevated air measurements may continue to register as response teams secure the site.
Monitoring update: Water quality around TPC Group Port Neches Operations is being closely monitored, and has been since the event. CTEH, environmental response experts contracted by TPC Group, continue to take water samples in the community and compare the results against health-protective state and federal screening criteria. Additionally, water monitoring by environmental experts from TCEQ, EPA and CTEH has confirmed no impact to the Neches River resulting from the event.
Traffic Update: Traffic updates will continue to be provided as available. Click for a map of street closures. The latest traffic information follows:
Open – Grigsby Avenue at Spur 136
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: Unified Command has migrated to a new Facebook page. Community members are encouraged to follow the page for updates at http://facebook.com/portnechesuc.
Updates and information will continue to be posted:
On the web: www.portnechesresponse.com
U.S. EPA: www.response.epa.gov/south4groupfire