How an LNG explosion rocked a gulf coast town, leaving residents seeking answers and accountability
In June 2022, a massive explosion at the Freeport Liquefied Natural Gas Export Terminal rocked the Freeport community – sending a giant fireball into the sky and causing a fire that burned for 40 minutes. The explosion left the Texas gulf coast community shaken and concerned for their safety and health – as they were initially left in the dark by Freeport LNG and public authorities about the cause of the explosion and any detrimental impacts it might have on air and water quality.
Global Witness joined partners on the ground to learn more about the explosion and to see how this resilient community is fighting to protect their homes and community for future generations.
Freeport is predominantly a community of color and time and again we see how people of color are disproportionately harmed by oil and gas projects that pollute the air, land and water surrounding these communities and causing cancer clusters.
Surrounded by miles and miles of industry plants, the constant chemical and pollution exposure has led to higher rates of cancer in Freeport that affects those from young children to adults. According to ProPublica, people living in Freeport face an incremental lifetime cancer risk of “1 in 450 or 22 times the EPA’s acceptable risk” due to the pollution emitted by the surrounding industrial sources.
Despite the environmental and safety harms on the community and the risk of explosions in the future, Freeport LNG has been given the greenlight by US authorities to fully reopen after eight months offline.
“Freeport LNG is committed to emerging from the June 8th incident with an unmatched focus on safety, operational integrity and operational excellence,” the company has said in response to a report about the explosion.
Visit LNGisnotsafe.com to see how you can support the Freeport community and hold Freeport LNG to account for its harms.