Firefighters tackle live-fire rail car loading rack training project during Chevron corporate fire school

SnapShot41 Firefighters attending the Chevron corporate fire school in May 2019.
Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station, TX was the scene of the May session of the Chevron corporate fire school, the last of three sessions conducted during 2019. A video showing the firefighters tackling the live-fire rail car loading rack project has been posted to the Industrial Fire World YouTube channel at .
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Exxon/TEEX partner on new emergency response course tailored to pipeline and storage tank incidents.

IMG_6794 Storage tank firefighting project at TEEX.
SPRING, Texas – ExxonMobil Pipeline Company and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) today announced the establishment of a new emergency response training course specifically designed to train firefighters on how to safely manage the challenges experienced during liquid pipeline and storage tank incidents. ExxonMobil has provided TEEX with a $200,000 grant that will fund the development of the program and the participation of 150 firefighters in the coming year. TEEX, a leader in administering emergency response training, will oversee the program and work with ExxonMobil emergency response experts to develop the pipeline and storage tank training curriculum and exercises. The course will be offered at TEEX’s Brayton Fire Training Field, one of the world’s top training facilities, located within the emergency preparedness campus in College Station, Texas. Three sessions will be offered for up to 50 participants at each session: Aug. 17-18, 2019; Oct. 19-20, 2019; and Jan. 11-12, 2020....
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Chemical Safety Board dispatches investigators to probe Illinois plant explosion

waukegan2 Lake County Sheriff's Office
A four-member team of investigators has been dispatched by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board to probe the May 3 rd multi-fatality explosion and fire at AB Specialty Silicones in Waukegan, IL, a CSB spokesperson confirmed Monday. The following report was issued by the Waukegan Fire Department on May 4 th . On Friday evening May 3, 2019 the Waukegan Fire Department was dispatched to the scene of an explosion in the area of Sunset and Northwestern on the northwest edge of the City. First arriving companies noted heavy damage and active fire conditions at the AB Specialty Silicones plant at 3790 Sunset Ave. Crews were also met by and immediately began treating injured subjects from the building. Four subjects were treated and transported to area hospitals. Two to Advocate Condell and two to Vista east. Responding Waukegan Fire crews were quickly overwhelmed and a Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) fire...
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Port of Houston fire chief says reports about fire boat breakdown during ITC fire is incorrect

Reports that breakdowns aboard two Port of Houston fire boats contributed to the intensification of the 64-hour Intercontinental Terminals fire in March are incorrect, said Port of Houston Fire Chief William Buck. “There was a temporary reduction in water pressure at the scene,” Buck said. “However, the pumps aboard our fire boats were in continuous operation during that period.” Press releases issued by ITC pinpoint the initial blaze as occurring at 10:22 a.m. March 17. During the next 2½ days, flames spread through petrochemical products in and around 15 storage tanks contained within a common dike. In its coverage of the fire, Industrial Fire World magazine cited press releases issued by ITC on March 19 that blamed the fire’s intensification on “a temporary loss of water pressure and water resources between the hours of 4:00PM and 10:00PM” on March 18. “The loss of water pressure was due to the malfunction of...
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"Systemic failures" led to fatal Chevron Pembroke refinery explosion, UK court told

PEMBROKE The scene of the explosion at the then Chevron refinery, where four workers were killed. Athena Picture Agency.
Swansea, UK - A series of systemic failures led to a fatal explosion at the Chevron oil refinery in Pembroke in 2011, Swansea crown court heard Tuesday (April 30) . TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
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Five water pollution charges filed in March terminal fire in Houston

ITCablaze Intercontinental Terminals fire in Houston
HOUSTON – Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced that her office filed five environmental criminal charges Monday against Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC), whose Deer Park refinery tanks caught fire on March 17.   “People living in Deer Park and the other neighboring residential areas near ITC’s plant deserve protection too,” Ogg said.  “When public health is at risk, it’s a public safety concern.”  Following the fire, the company’s makeshift dike broke, sending large (and still unknown) quantities of xylene and benzene, highly toxic chemicals, into Tucker Bayou which flows directly into the Galveston Bay. The Environmental Crimes Division’s review of the evidence demonstrates that the water pollution in Tucker Bayou was at criminal levels from March 17 through March 21, establishing probable cause to believe that the company should be criminally charged for each day it violated the law. “The discharge from the ITC fire into Tucker Bayou is a...
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CSB calls on EPA to update HF study in wake of the 2017 Husky refinery fire

The US Chemical Safety Board released a letter  April 24 calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to review its existing Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) study to determine the effectiveness of existing regulations as well as the viability of utilizing inherently safer alkylation technologies in petroleum refineries.  CSB Interim Executive Kristen Kulinowski said, “In the last 4 years, the CSB has investigated two refinery incidents where an explosion elevated the threat of a release of HF.  Refinery workers and surrounding community residents are rightly concerned about the adequacy of the risk management for the use of hazardous chemicals like HF.  The EPA should review its 1993 HF study to ensure the health and safety of communities near petroleum refineries utilizing HF.”  HF is a highly toxic chemical that can seriously injure or cause death at a concentration of 30 parts per million (PPM), which is used in about fifty of the U.S.’s...
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IFW publisher named to National Fire Heritage Center's Hall of Legends

HallOFlegends National Fire Heritage Center's Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders inductees.
Industrial Fire World publisher David White was among six new members of the National Fire Heritage Center’s Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders to be inducted during April ceremonies at FDIC International 2019 in Indianapolis, IN. The NFHCF includes the National Fire Heritage Archives, the National Fire Museum System, and the National Fire Heritage Foundation. Established in 2010, the HLLL includes prominent fire service leaders who have made significant contributions to fire protection who have been a member of the fire service or fire protection disciplines for at least 25 years and who are known/recognized in the national/international fire service arena. This year’s inductees include: David White is widely respected for his influence on municipal and industrial fire protection education, training, and standards and for bringing industrial fire and emergency response into the forefront with the municipal and volunteer fire service. He has impacted the knowledge and leadership development of thousands of...
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Former worker pleads guilty to arson in Martin Marietta fire

Raymond-Curtis Raymond Curtis
WJON ST. CLOUD, MN -- A St. Cloud man has pleaded guilty to starting fires which caused more than $2.6-million in damage at the Martin Marietta granite quarry in Waite Park. TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE.
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Houston chemical fires won’t spur new laws, for now

HoustonITC In this March 18, 2019 file photo, a plume of smoke rises from a petrochemical fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park, Texas. Organizers say an annual event marking the Battle of San Jacinto and re-enactment of the fight for Texas independence has been canceled amid continuing cleanup from the Houston-area chemical plant fire. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department says the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in La Porte remains closed and the April 21 ceremony is canceled. The Battleship Texas site also remains closed.
Houston Chronicle After three chemical fires ignited in a three-week period in the Houston area — spewing plumes of noxious black smoke into the air for days, shutting down schools and sending entire cities indoors to shelter in place — lawmakers say it’s too soon to know whether new laws are needed to improve prevention or emergency response . TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
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Pharmaceutical company plagued by supply problems after China plant explosion

Yancheng 62 killed in Yancheng chemical plant explosion
FiercePharma An explosion at a chemical plant in China that killed 62 people not only exposed weaknesses in China’s safety oversight, it exposed weaknesses in the global ingredient supply chain. The disruption from the blast has exacerbated shortages for Swiss pharma and chemical supplier Lonza. TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
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U.S. Chemical Safety Board to investigate deadly fire at Texas plant

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board said Wednesday it will be investigating the KMCO chemical plant fire in Crosby, which killed one person and left two others injured. TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
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Dwight Williams comes out of retirement to take a key role in the ITC extinguishment

Dwight Dwight Williams
By ANTON RIECHER/IFW EDITOR Rumors regarding the retirement of Dwight Williams, one of the leading figures in large-volume flammable liquid storage firefighting, have been greatly exaggerated if the March 20 th extinguishment of the massive Intercontinental Terminals Co. fire in Deer Park, TX is any indication. “Well, I guess I lied,” Williams said. Williams, who stepped down as head of Williams Fire and Hazard Control in September 2011, took a major role in the joint effort to put out the stubborn 64-hour blaze that spread through petrochemical products in and around 15 storage tanks and unleashed black smoke visible in satellite photographs stretching as far west as Austin. US FIRE PUMP ESTABLISHES ITSELF AS MAJOR INDUSTRIAL RESPONDER - CHECK OUT THE SPRING ISSUE OF IFW MAGAZINE He ranked the Deer Park emergency as among the worst in a career that includes the M/V Jupiter tanker fire in 1990 in Michigan, the...
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Louisiana fire company praised for extinguishing Texas plant fire

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards praised Louisiana-owned US Fire Pump for their efforts to help contain and extinguish a petrochemical plant fire that had been roaring for nearly two days in Deer Park, Texas. TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE ................................................. LA PORTE, Texas; Thursday, March 22, 2019 – (UPDATE) – Tanks in the west side of the containment area have re-ignited. ................ The U.S. Chemical Safety Board will investigate the recent fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) site in Deer Park, TX. CSB investigators will start interviews next week and plan to be on site for several days to document the scene and collect evidence. The massive fire, which began on March 17 th,  engulfed 11 above ground storage tanks containing a variety of hydrocarbons, resulting in multiple orders for community members to Shelter in Place.  ------------------------------------ LA PORTE, Texas; Thursday, March 21, 2019...
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78 killed in explosion at Chinese chemical plant

easternChina Hundreds of rescuers have been dispatched to the scene of the facility run by Tianjiayi Chemical
Yancheng, China - The death toll from a chemical plant that exploded in eastern China rose to 78 as rescuers continue to discover bodies among the rubble. TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
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Houston Ship Channel remains closed in the wake of ITC fire

webcover Photo by Kevin Brost
UPDATE - March 26 Unified Command continues clean-up operations at the Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC (ITC) facility, Tucker Bayou and Houston Ship Channel near Deer Park, Texas. Since March 19, 2019, more than 1,100 federal, state and local first responders, agencies, and environmental cleanup contractors have been on the scene and actively assessing, booming and continuing to remove product from affected areas. We continue to pump liquid out of tank 80-7 and have less than 6 inches (approximately 1,122 barrels or 47,127 gallons) remaining in the tank. The remaining liquid is mostly water. ITC operational personnel are currently transferring product from 80-14 and will continue transferring product from tank 80-10 to tank 80-18 until tanks 80-14 and 80-10 are empty. Tank 80-15 is empty. We are still pumping product from the ditch using vacuum trucks and hoses. That product is being transferred to tank 100-28. We are still foaming the tank...
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USDOT announces safety rule to strengthen oil train spill response preparedness

WASHINGTON  –  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), today issued a final rule that requires railroads to develop and submit Comprehensive Oil Spill Response Plans for route segments traveled by High Hazard Flammable Trains (HHFTs).  The rule applies to HHFTs that are transporting petroleum oil in a block of 20 or more loaded tank cars and trains that have a total of 35 loaded petroleum oil tank cars.  “This new rule will make the transport of energy products by railroad safer,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. The rule revises the oil spill response plan requirements currently in place to require railroads to establish geographic response zones along various rail routes and ensure that both personnel and equipment are staged and prepared to respond in the event of an accident.  Furthermore, railroads are required to...
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Chemical Safety Board again targeted in Trump’s proposed budget

The Trump administration’s budget proposal will again call for eliminating the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, an independent federal agency that investigates major industrial accidents, according to Bloomberg News. TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
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Financier, three others held for chemical factory fire in India

A Borivli financier and three ithers with criminal records were arrested for allegedly setting ablaze a chemical factory in Kashimira, India, in February. TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
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2 Kansas companies indicted over noxious chemical cloud

Two companies were indicted Wednesday on federal charges after a mistake at a northeast Kansas distilling plant in 2016 released a noxious cloud of fumes that prosecutors say caused more than 140 people to seek medical treatment. TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE TO READ THE CSB PRELIMINARY REPORT, CLICK HERE
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