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Storage tank overflows at Shell facility

abc13 KTRK-TV Houston, TX

Saturday, January 09, 2010

DEER PARK, TX (KTRK) — The cold weather is also causing problems for area petrochemical plants. Last night’s freeze had some of the companies keeping close watch.

There was a situation at Shell Deer Park facility. The company said there was never any danger to the surrounding community or the employees who were working at that particular site.

Frigid temperatures overnight caused an equipment malfunction in a storage tank area which caused one storage tank to overflow. That tank contained about 250 gallons of a very corrosive material called liquid caustic, which is used in a variety of petrochemical processes.

A Shell plant spokesperson told Eyewitness News that special preparations are made in advance of weather like this because they often expect some problems.

“We follow our very detailed procedures and processes for preparing the plant first of all in advance of the freezing conditions. We protect the piping instrumentation and other critical equipment that we have on site,” said Shell spokesperson Chris Bozman. “We have teams that work around the clock to monitor the situation and make sure we could quickly resolve any situation that comes up.”

The situation at the complex was resolved very quickly and with more frigid temperatures expected tonight, teams will be on standby to monitor those storage tanks in case there are any other problems.

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