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.
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.
KMCO has numerous air monitoring systems at the Crosby site and deployed teams of mobile monitors to gather air samples in surrounding communities and downwind from the facility. “Our mobile air monitors have been taking air samples around the clock and will continue to do so until we are certain that all systems are locked down and air tight,” Mr. Foley said. “We will provide the data from all these samples to the EPA and TCEQ for analysis.”
All production operations are currently suspended.
Regarding the Compliance Record of the KMCO Crosby Facility
KMCO, LLC is aware of the widespread news reports and commentary questioning our company’s commitment to safe and compliant operations based largely on the cumulative record of enforcement actions over the decades of the plant’s existence.
Mr. Foley noted, “It is important for our neighbors to understand that KMCO, LLC is a new company that acquired a 40-year old plant in its preexisting condition. When our new management team came onboard starting in 2015, we immediately revamped the inspection process and self-reported all compliance violations we discovered to TCEQ. The first step in fixing problems is to own up to them, and we did so. While we have self-reported shortcomings in recent years, the bulk of our citations and fines have been a direct result of our responsible efforts to fix preexisting issues, improve maintenance and upgrade the facility.”
KMCO LLC purchased the Crosby facility from KMCO LP in 2012. Therefore, KMCO, LLC did not own or operate the Crosby facility and is not responsible for any historic incidents or violations that occurred prior to 2012, including those that were fully adjudicated in 2016. From the beginning, our number one priority at KMCO, LLC has been safe and compliant operations.
After the acquisition, KMCO, LLC‘s new owners recruited a new management team in 2015 that dramatically accelerated the process of transforming the company by investing tens of millions in new capital and re-investing ongoing profits in people, processes, policies, and facility upgrades to safeguard our employees and the community, as well as the integrity and sustainability of our business. With the help of our dedicated team, we will continue our mission of transforming KMCO into a next-generation, best-practice operator that exceeds the expectations of our customers, employees, surrounding communities, regulators and the industry at large.
Regarding Communications with the Company
Community residents wishing to contact the company are invited to call the KMCO community outreach number at (281) 328-0285.
If residents should find any debris from the incident on their property, they should call the community outreach number above and the company will dispatch crews to remove it.