Crosby Arkema plant has history of recent violations

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

CROSBY, Texas - A recent federal inspection found 10 serious violations in the chemical plant at the center of a mandatory evacuation order in Crosby.

Arkema Inc. paid a  $91,724 penalty and corrected the problems related to the the August 2016 inspection according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Some of the violations OSHA identified included inaccurate piping diagrams, inadequate training, insufficient equipment inspection, insufficient equipment testing and failure to maintain equipment safety systems.

A representative with OSHA said Thursday that it was not at all clear if any previous violations played a role in the current situation which includes a fire that sent thick, acrid smoke into the air and 15 Harris County Deputies to the hospital. They have since been released.

The OSHA deficiencies were categorized as "serious."

"It means the government could establish a violation of a regulatory requirement that could cause a serious injury or death," said Mark Farley, an attorney with Katten, Muchin, and Rosenman.

Farley counsels companies on major accidents, but is not involved in this incident.

Farley said that OSHA commonly marks violations as "serious," and the designation is much less egregious than a "willful" violation.

Currently Arkema Inc.'s Crosby facility maintains "in compliance status" with both OSHA and the EPA.
 

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