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Posts published in “Day: April 11, 2019


President Donald Trump generates excitement among his supporters.

CROSBY – “It’s like the circus is coming to town!” exclaimed one Republican resident of the combined excitement and trepidation of having the presidential motorcade come to an unincorporated area that voted for him in the Presidential election by a whopping 74%.

A flurry of questions poured into the Star-Courier concerning where folks could get a view or when traffic could be expected to be stopped on FM 2100 or Foley Road.

Arrival at the International Union of Operating Engineers International Training and Education Center comes in controversy. Presidential executive orders to facilitate making petrochemicals and speed up pipeline construction in the wake of four petrochemical fires in less than one month and the union facility recently became non-profit, thus reducing taxes paid to local first responders. White House officials announced the orders will grant incentives for investors to make an energy infrastructure, streamlining pipeline projects. Last May Trump issued a permit to initiate the delayed Keystone XL Pipeline.

The International Training and Education Center is about 266 acres between Newport and Foley Road.

President Trump indicated reducing red tape around pipelines would allow the US to remain undisputed leader of the world in natural gas and oil in the future.

Of course, the new permit is under court challenge, environmentalists sued over the issue of Congress, not the executive branch, is granted constitutional rule over federal lands.

Another pipeline fire at Crosby oil facility

Only one day after the major fire at the KMCO plant in Crosby, the Crosby fire department was fighting another oil facility fire on Sralla Road. Crosby and Highlands fire departments were called out Wednesday night, May 3rd, after lightning struck storage tanks. Highlands Fire Chief Harvey Little said that the three storage tanks were completely destroyed by flames. He responded with a brush truck, because the facility is far from the road over unpaved fields. This is the same oil well that had a fire about one year ago. See page 8 for additional photos. (Photo by Lewis Spearman, Star-Courier).

KMCO status update

Crosby, TX (April 5, 2019) – KMCO, LLC today issued the following update on the status of the incident response at its production facility in Crosby, Texas:

Regarding KMCO’s Most Affected Employees

“Two members of our team are still in critical condition at area hospitals and the entire KMCO family is praying for their rapid recovery. We remain in close contact with all the families and are providing support for their special needs during this challenging time,” KMCO CEO, John Foley said.

Out of respect for the families and their request for privacy, the company will not release further information on their status.

Regarding the Status of the Ongoing Post-Incident Response and Investigation

“The Harris County Fire Marshals have completed their initial scene examination. Investigative teams from the Fire Marshals, OSHA, CSB and KMCO are all working cooperatively to track down the cause of this tragic incident. KMCO has been cleared to continue remediation of the site,” KMCO VP of Operations Keith Terhune said.

The company is continuing its water containment and collection efforts. Additional precautions are being taken to manage anticipated rainfall and prevent any uncontrolled runoff. Residents should be aware that mobile water pumping equipment and tank vehicles deployed on adjacent roads are removing water runoff from the site. No hazardous compounds have been detected in any offsite samples.

We are continuing to systematically assess the facility to verify the extent of any structural damage.

Important note

The fire suppression foam used by emergency responders at the Crosby site is not hazardous to people or groundwater. If residents should see foam in their yards, it is safe and will not hurt trees, shrubs, lawns or pets.

The EPA continues its aerial and ground level air monitoring using their highly sensitive monitoring equipment. TCEQ is also conducting air monitoring. To date, there have been no findings that would raise community health concerns.

County Attorney shuts down KMCO

Harris County, Texas — The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office (HCFMO) worked with the Office of Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan (HCAO) to initiate an Agreed Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). The order requested: “Defendant KMCO, its employees, agents, successors, and assigns, are hereby (1) ordered to cease all operations and not resume operations at the KMCO Facility until a Fire and Life Safety Inspection is completed by the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office.”

“The safety of the residents of Harris County is our number one priority,” said Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen. “HCFMO collaborated with HCAO to request a TRO against the defendant to ensure regulatory enforcement of fire and life safety codes. We are grateful for the collaborative efforts as we work towards a safer Harris County.”

Goose Creek plans $335 million bond vote

Goose Creek CISD superintendent Randall O’Brien speaking at Rotary

HIGHLANDS – Goose Creek school district is planning on a large $335 million bond issue to place before voters on election day, Saturday, May 4. School superintendent Randall O’Brien, and others on a planning committee, have been meeting with civic groups and citizens throughout the district to explain the need for this large sum of money, and how it would be used.

O’Brien spoke on Tuesday to the Highlands Rotary club, reviewing the history of the last bond issue in 2013, and the need for another one to keep up with the growth of the student population at present, and as projected into 2040. At that time, he said there would be another 6000 homes in the Baytown area, and those children must be accommodated properly.

As superintendent, O’Brien does not officially take a position on the passage of the bond referendum, but only explains the scope of the vote and answers questions about what it would accomplish, and how much it would cost the average taxpayer.

This is the second attempt at a bond issue to provide facilities and upgrades. Last year, a larger two part referendum was defeated, partially because it included about $50 million for a multi-purpose center that the taxpayers deemed not necessary. This year’s bond committee had 42 community leaders, and included some of last year’s critics. Their discussions refined the needs which would be included in the bond package.

The bond referendum includes money for five areas: