Deer Park Chemical Facility Has History of Environmental Violations

The Deer Park chemical facility that caught fire last week has a long history of state and federal environmental violations. According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) has been fined for multiple infractions that could have been avoided. In 2008, ITC was fined when a relief valve failed causing 6,745 pounds of unauthorized butadiene to be released into the atmosphere due to the facility’s failure to prevent an increase in pressure. The Commission said the event was “avoidable by better operational practices.” Butadiene is a carcinogen to humans and is used to make plastics.

In 2009, ITC was fined for failing to “prevent the overloading of a railcar resulting in the unauthorized release of 1,452 pounds of toluene, a hazardous air pollutant, during a four-hour emissions event.” This event was also said to be avoidable because the release was due to an operator failing to tighten a bolt on a hatch.

Additionally, ITC has been the subject of repeated water violations. In 2017, The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality fined ITC for releasing cyanide into the San Jacinto River basin in an amount more than ten times the permitted levels. In 2016, ITC released more than three times the limit for sulfide, and in 2015 ITC was found over the limit for chlorine discharge. Since July 2017, ITC has also failed to file monitoring reports on its chemical services, as required by federal regulations.

These are only a few of the infractions committed by ITC over the last ten years. The cause of the recent fires at the ITC Deer Park facility is currently under investigation. Firm Partner Benny Agosto, Jr. currently represents several individuals harmed by the toxic chemicals emitted into the environment by ITC. If you or someone you know has been injured by this catastrophe event, it is important to find a skilled law firm with experience handling personal injury cases. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the oldest personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys are standing by to assist with your claim. Call us today at (713) 222-7211 or 713-222-7211 for your free consultation.