AUSTIN-- The CPI Products facility in Williamson County caught fire this afternoon. The facility manufactures metal, plastic and other products that are made from polyethylene and other raw plastic materials. Williamson County officials issued a shelter in place order for all residents within one mile of the plant, urging them to close doors, windows, and shut off air conditioning or heating systems. According to reports, there are no injuries and nobody was in the building at the time the fire began.
Catherine Fraser, clean air associate with Environment Texas, issued the following statement:
“We’re concerned about what may be in the air around the CPI Products facility. Burning plastic can emit dangerous chemicals like volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and heavy metals, which can be carcinogenic and harm the respiratory and immune systems.
No one expects these disasters to happen in central Texas, but the reality is that plastics are everywhere. They’re in our pantries, our clothes, and even our drinking water -- and when a plant catches fire, they’re in our air, too. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We need to start asking bigger questions about why we allow the petrochemical industry to pollute our air in order to make plastic products that we often don’t need in the first place.
No Texan should have to worry about breathing toxic air pollution.”
Environment Texas advocates for clean air, clean water, and preservation of Texas’s natural areas on behalf of approximately 5,000 members statewide.