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 6,200 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.