PORT NECHES, Texas — Experts working with the TPC Group have started using an additive in storage tanks at the plant in Port Neches to prepare materials for removal from the site.

The additive, “DEHAS”, or diethylhydroxylamine, is being introduced to storage tanks on the site to prepare the butadiene left in them for “longer-term storage, transportation, and removal from the site” according to a Monday night release from officials.

The process began at about 5:30 p.m. Monday evening.

The company's reps say it should reduce the risk of any reactions as the chemicals are moved away from the plant.

The “phased process” is expected to take five days and no off-site or public health concerns are anticipated accruing to the release.

Some roads near the facility remain closed, but Grigsby avenue has reopened.

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News Release #25 Tuesday evening update…

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.

On Monday (December 9), TPC Group began introducing an additive known as “DEHA” (diethylhydroxylamine) to storage tanks containing butadiene to stabilize the materials for longer-term storage, transportation, and removal from the site. DEHA is used to inhibit or prevent chemical reactions in storage tanks and it is commonly used in industry operations and materials transport. TPC Group is introducing DEHA to 11 storage tanks containing butadiene using portable equipment. This will be a phased process and is expected to take approximately five days to complete. 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.

Friday morning (December 6), Unified Command identified small fires in the impacted area on site. These small residual fires were anticipated and are being contained. Response teams continue to monitor and assess. Smoke may be visible.

Air Monitoring update: Air monitoring around the site and in the community continues to show no actionable butadiene levels. Unified Command, comprised of federal, state, local agencies and TPC Group, remains diligent in efforts to monitor air quality. Monitoring coverage, by various state, federal, and local agencies, extends throughout the county and is providing real-time air quality data to Unified Command.

Occasional elevated air measurements may continue to register as response teams secure the site. In the last 24-hours, experts have collected 5,861 air monitoring readings in the community. All of these readings were below actionable levels in the community.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a federal public health agency, remains onsite as a third-party resource dedicated to reviewing the environmental data provided by United Command to assist in making local public health recommendations. Current air monitoring data does not indicate concern for public health.

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