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TPC: Air monitoring yields no results of asbestos

The fire at TPC Group in Port Neches is contained and significantly reduced, and air sampling has yielded no “measurable concentrations” of airborne asbestos fibers, TPC said in a news release late Saturday afternoon.

Pieces of process equipment and other debris have been flown beyond the fence line of the chemical plant following two explosions at the site Wednesday. The booms raised concerns about possible asbestos. Environmental response specialists from CTEH have conducted air sampling surrounding TPC, and TPC and civic and law enforcement leaders have urged people not to attempt to clean up the debris themselves.

“CTEH will also conduct debris assessments and will be leading removal efforts,” TPC said in the release. “Specialists will be assessing homes and yards within approximately one-half mile of the TPC Port Neches Operations fence-line. Please be aware that the clean up specialists are required to wear protective clothing to remove debris beyond the fenceline. We expect assessments and clean up to begin immediately.”

Residents who find debris in their yard are asked to call the Community Assistance Helpline at 866-601-5880 to file a claim.

“Unified Command remains focused on protecting the safety of responders and the public and minimizing any impact to the environment,” the release says. “Updates and information continue to be posted on the web at www.portnechesresponse.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/portneches.response.1 and on Twitter at PortNechesUC.”

Unified Command is led by Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick, the Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, TPC and 20 federal, state and local agencies. A TPC representative who serves as the company’s fire chief leads first responders as the incident commander, according to TPC spokesperson Sara Cronin.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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