DuPont will not Reopen TX Chem Plant

Monday, April 4, 2016 @ 02:04 PM gHale

DuPont will not reopen its Southeast Texas pesticide plant idled since a gas leak killed four workers in 2014.

The company believes changes in market conditions since the La Porte, TX, plant shut down will continue and “do not support restarting the facility,” said DuPont spokesman Gregg Schmidt.

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Four workers died Nov. 15, 2014, of exposure to 23,000 pounds of methyl mercaptan, a raw material used to manufacture an insecticide.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board found neither workers nor the public were safe from chemical exposure by equipment or safety procedures at the plant.

The board said a review of plant systems that control overpressure in equipment had “fallen far behind schedule.”

The once revered DuPont safety culture is now under scrutiny.

The release in November 2014 at the DuPont La Porte facility cascaded from the initial worker falling to the release and then three others coming to his rescue was a result of unsafe conditions, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

As a result, OSHA place DuPont in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

After the initial investigation into the four deaths, OSHA found hazards that prompted the inspection at the facility to expand under the National Emphasis Program for chemical facilities.

OSHA issued citations to DuPont for three willful, one repeat and four serious violations at the La Porte chemical manufacturing plant.

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