PORT NECHES, Texas—TPC Group L.L.C. is facing a potential fine of more than a half a million dollars by the federal government for a November plant explosion.
The $514,692 proposed fine from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor comes from the company exposing employees "to workplace safety and health hazards" following the fire, the federal agency said.
"OSHA cited TPC for three willful violations for failing to develop and implement procedures for emergency shutdown, and inspect and test process vessel and piping components," the agency said in a statement.
TPC has 15 business days to comply, contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission or seek a conference with OSHA's area director. The review commission is an independent group.
The facility has an annual extraction capacity of 426,000 metric tons, which is about 17 percent of all U.S. capacity, according to previous reports.
A total of two TPC workers and a contractor were injured. Approximately 60,000 residents were evacuated after the explosion and were allowed to return four days later.
It was just about two months later that the Unified Command response to the explosion, including state, local and company officials, stood down and turned management of the situation over to the company solely.
"TPC Group has a highly skilled and dedicated team managing the response efforts, and they have demonstrated the capability and competency to manage this event and bring it safely to an end," Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said then.
County judges in Texas also serve as chief administrators for their jurisdictions.
"This is a significant milestone in the community's and TPC Group's progress toward recovery. Our focus has always been on community and site safety in protection of health and the environment, and those objectives continue to be met," Branick said at the time.