DuPont Won't Reopen La Porte Plant

06.04.2016 -

DuPont will not reopen its herbicide plant at La Porte, Texas, idled since a leak of 24,000 lbs of methyl mercaptan killed four employees at the facility in November 2014.

In response to a query from the newspaper Houston Chronicle, a DuPont spokesman said the company believes changes in market conditions since the plant shutdown will continue and “do not support restarting the facility.”

Following the 2014 incident, the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) was critical of DuPont’s maintenance efforts. It found that neither workers nor the public were safe from chemical exposure by equipment or safety procedures at the plant.

A review of plant systems that control overpressure in equipment showed that equipment maintenance had "fallen far behind schedule," the board said.

CSB said the deaths at the facility employing 300 people occurred inside an enclosed and unventilated building, whereby part of the production process was enclosed in a building that “appears to serve no essential manufacturing purpose.”

At the time, DuPont said it was working on remedying the problems.

In August 2015, a former lab technician at the plant filed a lawsuit against DuPont, claiming she was terminated because of her repeated reporting of safety violations shortly before the leak.