Coordinating Emergency Response Operations Following a Massive Industrial Fire

Technical Guidance and Oversight Support at the ITC Tank Farm Fire Response

In March 2019, a dangerous fire broke out and began to spread at a facility near Houston where massive tanks stored highly-flammable liquids. As firefighters fought to bring the blaze under control, EPA ordered CSS’ senior field operations specialists to the scene to help manage emergency response activities.  We mobilized on site within 13 hours and began supporting the Unified Command. Our field experts deployed and supervised EPA’s response staff and equipment during the 11-hour overnight shift.  We served as a technical liaison between the operator of the tank farm and the lead EPA On-Scene Coordinator and state representatives, communicating up-to-date information on site conditions and firefighting efforts. We also managed a unified three-member air monitoring team that monitored for volatile organic compounds at the scene and for benzene within a 5-mile radius of the ITC Tank Farm location. 

“Just a note to tell you how much I enjoyed working with the three of you over the past 17 days…You have an amazing amount of knowledge and experience to ensure the safety of Texans… and even more amazing is how much care y’all have shown over this event, even when I know you had to be exhausted from working overnights…” Steve Mason, EPA Region 6

Additional Projects

Social Values Relative to Wind Energy

CSS assisted in the assessment of social values related to understanding and support of offshore wind energy sitings off North and South Carolina.

Predictive Modeling and the HABTracker

CSS scientists helped develop HABTracker, a HAB Forecast system.

Decontamination Field Tests for EPA

CSS staff helped design, plan for, and implement field tests of decontamination technologies and methods using MB for EPA’s Consequence Management Advisory Division.

Safety, Health, & Environmental

We provide our clients with tools to protect their workforce, the public, and the environment.

Facilities Operations & Maintenance

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Earth & Space Science Support & Operations

We deliver scientific support to advance our clients’ research goals.

Emergency Preparedness & Response

We help our clients prepare for and protect the health and environment of communities after disasters and hazmat releases.

Environmental Resource Assessment & Management

We apply science to address challenges affecting the nation’s natural resources.

IT Services

Our IT solutions meet clients’ evolving needs.

Human Health Risk Assessment

We help advance the understanding of chemical effects on people and the environment.

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