Business is great at Kepner Plastics Fabricators Inc., a Torrance, Calif., company that makes booms that help to contain oil spills. The company's Meryl Lee told Rob Schmitz of American Public Media's "Marketplace" program that Keper is "ordering lots of extra materials and talking about putting a second shift on."
Schmitz: So business is good? LEE: Business is booming. I'm sorry, I had to say that.Get it? The company makes oil spill containment booms. Kepner Plastics also makes custom plastic fabrications and a variety of specialized products including inflatables, covers and liners, and water control products. The company got into the oil containment market in 1968, when the Ocean Eagle tanker grounded in the entrance to San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico and broke-up, spilling 83,400 barrels of crude oil. According to the company's web site, "Several containment methods were tried and failed before Kepner was called upon to create a containment solution to control the oil spill. In response, Kepner designed at its home office in Torrance, California and completed manufacture in a warehouse in Puerto Rico, the first "SeaCurtain" oil spill containment boom. The only conditions of that contract were, 'If it works, we'll pay you.' It worked, and they did!"