Eastman releases update on investigation of steam line failure at Eastman and community outreach efforts

Published 7:25 pm Monday, February 21, 2022

KINGSPORT – On February 21, 2022 Eastman released the following update concerning its investigation of the steam line failure that occurred on January 31 at its Kingsport manufacturing site, Eastman is conducting a thorough inspection of the steam line distribution system and working with third party industry experts to evaluate the results of the inspection. The steam system delivers power to the plant. While Eastman inspects its steam piping on a regular basis as part of its safety and maintenance procedures, the company is conducting an inspection of its steam distribution system to ensure integrity of its operations. Eastman is well underway in completing the inspection and is deploying as many resources as are safe.

Eastman’s investigation team has reached some preliminary conclusions. They include:

– The specific cause of this incident was a failure in a fitting in the steam line.
– No evidence has been found at this time that indicates any deficiency in the way Eastman’s steam systems are operated or maintained.
– There was no fire or other initiating factor.
“We are focused on both the investigation and safe start-up of portions of the plant impacted by the steam line failure,” said Mark Bogle, Eastman vice president and Tennessee Operations site leader. “Keeping our workers and the community safe is the most important responsibility we have. We are grateful to the Eastman team and our contract partners, and we appreciate the support we continue to receive from the community.”

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Eastman and its contract partners are continuing with debris clean-up efforts and ongoing outreach to neighbors near the plant to understand and address concerns. So far, Eastman has:

– returned approximately 150 Community Care Line calls,
– visited with more than 500 residents,
– established informational phone lines for neighbors to get their questions answered by third-party experts,
– mailed letters to 300 residents in the Green Acres neighborhood with results of debris testing,
– cleaned more than 50 vehicles,
– distributed almost 700 car wash vouchers,
– cleaned roofs and gutters, and continues to do so as requested, and
– conducted more than 180 air monitoring samples in the Green Acres neighborhood, the results from which all show no detectable asbestos.
Updates are available at a special page created by Eastman that is accessible at www.eastman.com. The community can also contact Eastman by calling the Care Line at 423.229.CARE.