A press conference to address questions about the lawsuit and the temporary restraining order will be held today, March 25, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. at the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, located at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas, 77002. The clients will be in attendance at the press conference..
(Houston, TX) Benny Agosto, Jr., Firm Partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, is filing the first of potentially hundreds of lawsuits on behalf of his clients for their exposure to the toxic chemicals emitted into the environment by Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC, also known as “ITC,” between March 17 th and March 22 nd, 2019.
Among the various dangerous and toxic chemicals released by ITC was benzene. The release of these chemicals and the continued fires and flare-ups at the ITC facility for a period of 5 days has caused and continues to cause physical injuries and extreme mental anguish to the residents of the communities within Harris County.
ITC has a long history of numerous 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.