OPINION AND EDITORIAL
A recently filed lawsuit by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against the TPC Group factory in Port Neches, Texas throws more cold water on the so-called “Port Neches terrorist bombing” conspiracy theory pushed by “fear mongers” Marcus Conte, Brooklyn, New York and Denise Matteau, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Many Internet observers will remember the claims of “domestic bombing terrorism threats” that were widely distributed in podcasts to a worldwide audience by the Conte/Matteau duo immediately following the 11/27/19 explosion. One podcast included Marcus Conte calling the New York Field Office (N.Y.F.O.) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) to report the “bombing threats” after the explosion.
An outlandish conspiracy theory was presented by Conte/Matteau that terrorist threats had been specifically made against the TPC Group factory two days before the explosion, and that the explosion may have been caused by drones equipped with flame throwers.
In an eerie twist of events, Texas state government officials believe that the lawsuit will help determine the actual cause of the explosion, believed to be related to industrial air pollution controls at the factory. Nonetheless, it appears the Texas Attorney General will view this lawsuit as an opportunity to discover the internal workings of the plant that led to the explosion. Terrorism has never been discussed as a possible cause of the explosion.
This has not stopped so-called “fear mongers” Marcus Conte and Denise Matteau from pushing the so-called “Port Neches terrorist bombing” theory on their YouTube podcasts.
STATE OF TEXAS LAWSUIT AGAINST TPC GROUP
Texas’s attorney general Ken Paxton has sued the TPC Group over claims of air and water pollution at a petrochemical plant in eastern Texas that exploded in November, prompting a massive evacuation of nearby towns.
In the complaint filed in Texas district court on Friday, the state’s top law enforcement official accuses the company of violating the Texas Clean Air Act and its Water Code, both before the explosion at its Port Neches plant on Nov. 27 and as a result of it.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued TPC Group over environmental violations associated with the Nov. 27 explosion at the company’s Port Neches chemical plant, a blast that prompted widespread mandatory evacuations during the Thanksgiving holiday week.
The suit, filed Friday on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in Travis County District Court, also alleges the Houston-based company violated clean air laws multiple times from January 2018 to September 2019. The suit seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties, as well as for TPC Group to cover its attorney fees, court costs and investigative costs.
Some state lawmakers from the impacted areas, including Republican state Rep. Dade Phelan of Beaumont, have called for strong action, though the Legislature didn’t pass many of the potential reforms it discussed in emergency hearings last year.
“I want to thank the TCEQ and the Attorney General for acting in the best interest of all Southeast Texans impacted by the Port Neches explosion,” Phelan said in a statement sent out by TCEQ. “Through this suit, the state can learn what caused the incident, how to prevent such occurrences in the future and adequately penalize all violations.”
THE REAL CAUSE OF EXPLOSIONS: VAPOR CLOUD
After the federal government required TPC Group to install air monitors at its Port Neches plant, the company detected a significant increase in the number and size of butadiene emissions in the months leading up to multiple blasts at the plant on Nov. 27.
Butadiene emissions at TPC Group’s Port Neches chemical plant
TPC Group was required to install monitors at its Port Neches chemical plant to gauge emissions of 1,3 butadiene — a highly explosive gas — and post reports online whenever readings exceeded 25 parts per billion (PPB). Those reports show an increase in both the size of butadiene emissions and the number of times they exceeded the agreed-upon threshold in the months leading up to a Nov. 27 explosion at the plant.
Manny Ehrlich, a CSB board member, described what his agency has gathered thus far in terms of the events leading up to the initial explosion.
“The released process fluid created a large vapor cloud,” said Ehrlich. “The workers recognized the significance of the release and immediately evacuated the area.”
He says three employees were working on equipment that night inside the facility, when they noticed butadiene being released.
To be continued….
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