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The Deer Park Community

DPCAC hears Harvey impact, emissions reports

Written by Staff. Posted in Community

When members gathered for the first time since Hurricane Harvey canceled its August meeting, Deer Park Community Advisory Council (DPCAC) heard from member facilities and city and county representatives about the impacts the storm and related flooding had on plant operations and employees.

Most plants fared well, with minimal operating impact. Many ride-out crews that stayed at plants during the storm were stranded longer than anticipated because of flooded roads, but no storm-related injuries were reported. On the average, about 20 percent of plant employees sustained damages from the storm. Each company is helping impacted employees. Examples included sheetrock-removal teams, grants or interest-free loans, cleanup and construction materials, and personal time off.

After Harvey updates, the emissions report was presented by Kevin Spangler of Oxy Vinyls, who coordinated the data request, collection, and compilation of 2016 data from the TCEQ Air Emissions Inventory and the EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). (DPCAC plants rotate the coordination duties from year to year.)

From 2015 to 2016, emissions decreased in all reported categories but two. Reductions occurred in volatile organic compounds, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, TRI releases to air, benzene, and 1-3 butadiene. An increase occurred in nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions due to greater use of furnaces and the boilers that make steam. Total suspended particulate matter emissions were also higher due to increased production rates. TRI Releases to Air have declined 86 percent between 1987, when there were nine plants in DPCAC, and 2016, when 14 member plants shared their emissions data with their community advisors.

DPCAC meets again on Oct. 23 to discuss how benzene and 1,3-butadiene are used and managed and how the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) assesses their risk. Visitors are welcome. For an invitation and details about the 6 p.m. meeting, contact the DPCAC facilitator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit to read about recent meeting topics, find links to useful resources on emergency communications and the environment, see lists of DPCAC community and plant members, and read our mission and purposes.