State of Texas Sues TPC Group for Violations Related to November Explosion at Port Neches Plant

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued TPC Group on Friday, February 21, 2020, in response to the November 27, 2019 explosions at TPC’s plant in Port Neches. The largest explosion launched a tower into the air with balls of fire and other chemicals and pollutants, with a series of smaller explosions throughout that day. According to officials at the time, the fire was burning a chemical called butadiene, a colorless gas that is considered a health hazard, and other chemicals that are used in synthetic rubber, fuels, lubricant additives, and plastics.

Attorney General Ken Paxton brought suit on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) alleging violations of the Texas Clean Air Act and the Texas Water code related to the explosion and violations of TCEQ’s air quality program prior to the explosion. These statutes are designed to discourage unlawful emissions into Texans’ air and water and are typically considered strict-liability in nature, with a mere possibility of being able to prevent such a discharge sufficient to establish a violation.

TCEQ Executive Director Toby Baker said in a statement Friday that he “appreciate[s] the Attorney General’s action today” and that it is “absolutely crucial that entities like TPC Group are held responsible not only for the destructive environmental pollution they cause, but also for their impact on human health.

The attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have been fighting for the rights of individuals injured in or by the effects of explosions for decades, including those injured by the TPC explosion. If you or someone you know has been injured by an explosion, contact the experienced attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner at (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.