Hazardous Chem Release Brings Safety Fines

Friday, July 31, 2015 @ 05:07 PM gHale

Southcross Energy Partners GP LLC is facing $112,000 in fines for seven safety violations at its Gregory, Texas, natural gas processing facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Southcross is a Dallas-based midstream company with 320 employees and 12 at the Gregory facility.

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On Jan. 20, a pressure-relief device operated by Southcross released flammable gas and liquid into the atmosphere; it burned for more than two hours.

OSHA investigated the facility and cited the employer for one willful and six serious safety violations. The violations included failing to train operators, update operating procedures, conduct a management of change analysis when changing software and hardware, conduct periodic inspections and document inspections on emergency shutdown devices.

“Preparation is critical for safe workplaces,” said Michael J. Rivera, OSHA’s area director in Corpus Christi. “Managing worker safety by finding and fixing hazards is the employer’s responsibility, but Southcross Energy failed to provide an adequate plan. This situation could have been deadly. Thankfully no one was injured.”