ILTA Engages with Public, Industry Partners at Harris County Emergency Response Forum
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ILTA’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Peter Lidiak moderated a panel that included representatives of the Harris County Fire Marshall, U.S. Coast Guard, TCEQ and U.S. EPA.
ILTA helped plan and sponsor an emergency response forum December 10-11 at the Petrochemical and Energy Technology Center at San Jacinto Community College in Pasadena, Texas. Other event partners were: Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s Office; the American Petroleum Institute; the East Harris County Manufacturers Association; and the Texas Oil and Gas Association.
In his opening remarks, Commissioner Garcia said “[t]he events of 2019 are opportunities to learn from and build trust.”
The following ILTA member companies were represented at the event: Enterprise Products; Magellan Midstream Partners; Marathon Petroleum Company; Martin Midstream Partners; Motiva Enterprises; OilTanking; and Phillips 66. About 100 attendees from industry, local communities and local, state and federal response agencies participated in the event.
On December 10, attendees heard from industry and public agency panelists on:
- industry efforts to prepare for response to emergencies and lessons learned from past incidents;
- how public agencies at the local, state and federal levels use the National Incident Management System during response to emergencies and what their roles are in response efforts;
- how to properly communicate to the public regarding air quality data during an incident;
- the power of communication and community engagement before, during and after an incident; and
- industry-sponsored training for emergency responders, specifically to address industrial fires.
During the panel on community engagement, Harris County Public Information Officer Brian Murray noted that major events were rare, specifying that before 2019, the last incident of “any magnitude” had occurred about 30 years prior.
On December 11, attendees split into two tracks. The first track participated in a panel on community response and recovery and then toured the Houston Emergency Center and TranStar (local communications center). The second track included a presentation on fighting tank fires and a demonstration of firefighting equipment at the Shell Pipeline terminal in Pasadena followed by a tour of the Marathon Pipeline facility in Pasadena and a demonstration of oil spill response equipment.
Overall, the event successfully highlighted the theme of public and private partnership and the need to build relationships between industry, public officials and communities before emergencies happen.
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