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 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.
Just before 11 A.M. on March 17th, 2019 a chemical plant fire occurred at the Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC, also known as "ITC", which is located near Highway 225 and Independence Parkway in Deer Park, Texas. The blaze continued to burn all day Sunday and has continued into Monday. Emergency crews have continuously worked around the clock to keep the fires contained. Unfortunately, additional tanks subsequently caught fire overnight. Nearby schools were closed for the day as a precaution.