Air Alliance Houston Statement on Port Neches Explosion

TPC Group’s Port Neches Facility a “High Priority Violator” of the Clean Air Act

Statement of Air Alliance Houston’s Executive Director Bakeyah Nelson

For immediate release – November 27, 2019

“How many communities have to suffer these tragedies before our state and federal government put the health and safety of people above the demands of a ruthless industry that does so little to protect their employees, our first responders, and, most importantly, our families? If industry truly cared about communities, as it purports, its lobbyists would be working to vigorously support the implementation of chemical safety standards rather than ensuring the erosion of them. Tragically, communities will continue to bear the brunt of the health and safety risks as a result of industry’s ongoing efforts to undermine the laws that are intended to provide some level of protection.

“According to the EPA’s own data on compliance and enforcement, this facility has been a ‘high priority violator’ of the Clean Air Act since at least 2004, and many of these cited violations remained unresolved prior to today’s incident. In addition, by their own estimates, TPC has emitted over 60 tons of the known carcinogenic chemical 1,3 – butadiene to the air just in the last two years. Despite this, TPC has been ordered to pay less than $200,000 in State and Federal enforcement penalties in the last five years. It is clear from this reckless environmental compliance history and toothless State and Federal enforcement that TPC views risks to public safety and the environment as the cost of doing business. It is unconscionable that they have been allowed to continue to operate despite this poor record of compliance, and it is unfortunate that this preventable tragedy was not averted when the risks to community safety were so obvious.”


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