Los Alamos Supports the U.S. EPA During an ASPECT Quick Reaction Deployment to the Marcus Oil Chemical Fire in Houston, Texas, 12/03/04

At 6 pm Central Time on Friday 12/03/04, the Marcus Oil and Chemical Plant located in southwest Houston, Texas was reported by plant personnel to be on fire.  The plant is a large manufacturer of a polyethylene wax that is used in a variety of consumer products.  Within 15 minutes, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to deploy the ASPECT aircraft from the Waxahachie, Texas hangar to support ground HazMat teams.  The focus of the deployment was to determine the threat of downwind chemical hazards at the site.  Initial observers at the site reported flames several hundred feet high.  The Houston Police and Fire Departments immediately evacuated a 4 square block area around the plant.

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