Intercontinental Terminals Company may be fined for an oil spill at its Deer Park facility on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Currently, the United States Coast Guard is investigating the spill that occurred following a locomotive fuel tank was punctured and leaked an unspecified amount of diesel into a storm drain. It ultimately closed the Houston Ship Channel for nearly three hours. The extent of the spill is unknown, but an ITC representative indicated the company alerted the Coast Guard, who in turn deployed vacuum trucks, skimmers and a containment boom to isolate and clean up the spill. The Coast Guard will also continue to monitor the potential impact on the area and the recovery efforts.
The Coast Guard’s investigation into this spill is probably going to take two or three months to conduct, after which ITC may be fined. Additionally, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is aware of the spill.
The ITC facility in Deer Park had a massive fire seven months ago that sent miles-long plume of black smoke over the Houston community for several days. The fire actually reignited a few days later. Contents from those fires are believed to include gasoline-blend stocks, naphtha, xylene and pygas, that came out 11 tanks. It is believed more than 21 million gallons of water mixed with hazardous chemicals and firefighting foam were collected from the tank farm.