Earthworks and T.e.j.a.s Leak Detection Team

BY YVETTE ARELLANO · JUNE 16, 2017


This week Earthworks and T.e.j.a.s formed a leak detection team with the assistance of Earthworks thermal imaging camera and visited the O&G and Chemical Plant neighbors to our frontline communities. The team captured images throughout the 16 mile stretch of our ship channel from Manchester to Baytown taking the long toxic tour route. We made stops at Cesar Chavez, Peiser Park, Hartman Park and many others. While doing field work we where stopped multiple times and questioned by multiple plant security teams. These intimidation tactics are regular occurrences when doing advocacy work. During one instance an off duty Baytown officer was moonlighting for plant security which is a conflict of interest as an officers duty is to protect the same communities.

Intimidation By Plant Security




What isn’t visible with the naked eye was visible with this piece of technology. Community members will call in what they can see but sometimes what they can’t see is more harmful. It would be great if we could acquire one.

-Juan Parras, Executive Director


6/15/17 T.e.j.a.s doing field work with Earthworks and their wonderful FLIR Camera

What Did We See? 

To the naked eye nothing seems to be dispersing from the top of these stacks. Taking a closer look and with the assistance of Earthworks wonderful FLIR Camera you can see the infrared camera captured some emissions being released. (White cloud-like plumes) These leaks and emissions were prevalent throughout our field work with the Earthworks.


What is a FLIR Camera? 

The sensors installed in forward-looking infrared cameras—as well as those of other thermal imaging cameras—use detection of infrared radiation, typically emitted from a heat source (thermal radiation), to create an image assembled for video output.

Refineries require state of the art technology to achieve results that are safe for the environment and safe for business. FLIR infrared cameras have been developed together with oil industries and the American Petroleum Institute (API) to meet their requirements for detecting and minimizing gas leaks.

The use of infrared cameras has already become a standard practice in many oil and gas companies. It’s a proactive way to identify sources of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions and repair leaking components before it’s too late. By using the most advanced VOC detection, they can improve safety and minimize emissions. 


Thank you Earthworks for your contribution as far as wonderful team and technology.

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