Texas State PoliticsEnvironmental PolicyAmerican Government

Explosions Rock Texas Chemical Plant

Posted on in Texas State Politics · Environmental Policy · American Government

On November 27, the day before Thanksgiving, Port Neches, TX was rocked by two major explosions at a chemical/petroleum refinery. The explosions injured three people, blew out windows in the surrounding neighborhoods, and prompted officials to evacuate nearly 60,000 local residents amid air quality concerns.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Explosions Rock Texas Chemical Plant

Links

“TPC plant called ‘high priority violators’ by EPA before explosion”
https://abc13.com/plant-called-high-priority-violators-by-epa-before-blast/5723404/

“EPA records show Port Neches plant rocked by explosion had history of ‘preventable’ emissions”
https://www.12newsnow.com/article/news/local/power-city/epa-records-show-port-neches-plant-rocked-by-explosions-had-history-of-preventable-emissions/502-3169ce87-3b28-49b7-b3a6-ed5af6cc7173

“Explosions Shake a Texas Town, and Its View on Thanksgiving”
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/28/us/port-neches-texas-explosion.html

“Explosions Rock Chemical Plant in Texas, Prompting Mass Evacuations”
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/texas-chemical-plant-explosion_n_5ddf162ce4b0d50f329c2007?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9uZXdzLmdvb2dsZS5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAIi6mrj0THiHjJ4Oq7A6EDXlsUCdLyx-nHUmomC0qXxkmKRESCXDFARJtpgBI5F5JlO7_vkSLCheJcjt1Ow_XLmrfI9MXmWKGqloQQPyymsVEG_8PW3QT0tO6EjyK3_-WvY1xOkUqd7hkdRyaGlsjpvSmWQfGefZSNCcoPm7bIM1

“With Port Neches burning, do we really think gutting the EPA is wise?”
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/With-Port-Neches-burning-do-we-really-think-14870909.php

“Officials lift evacuation order following TPC plant explosion, fire”
https://www.12newsnow.com/article/news/local/explosion-fire-burning-at-port-neches-plant-early-wednesday/502-de236827-a796-48f7-ac55-fad5064c3c8b

“Chem plant blast was bad, could’ve been a lot worse”
https://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Chem-plant-blast-was-bad-could-ve-been-a-lot-14867906.php#photo-18677208

Assessment

  • Writing: Describe the historic relationship between the EPA and the industrial sector of the U.S. economy. What regulatory power/limitations have been imposed on the agency under the current administration?
  • Debate: The Environmental Protection Agency should be strengthened and expanded in order to prevent future harm to surrounding communities.
  • Poll: Should private companies, like TPC, be held more financially responsible for improper safety precautions?
  • Short Answer: What can the EPA do to ensure that the proper safety measures are met by plants working with toxic and highly flammable materials?

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