ITC fire fallout: Pasadena residents express concern at town hall meeting

PASADENA, Texas – At a town hall meeting Monday, dozens of families are demanding answers about whether the water and air are safe following the massive ITC chemical fire in Deer Park.

On Tuesday, the Harris County Attorney is expected to file legal action against the company to recoup money the county lost in the response.

Several dozen people who live in Pasadena gathered at a local church Monday night to discuss last week's fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Co. chemical storage facility in nearby Deer Park and the impact it's having on their community.

Some expressed anger and frustration.

"I am tired of the fact that we as a community are being held back by the refiners," one resident said.

Many others had questions they wanted answered.

"What's next? Where do we go next from here? What's in the water? What kind of chemicals are in the water? What kind of air are we breathing?" Pasadena resident Israel Matamoros said.

Matamoros, a grandfather, said he is very concerned about symptoms he and some of his children have experienced since the fires.

"My son was bleeding from his nose. I had a severe headache for a couple of days. I didn't sleep at night," Matamoros said.

In fact, concerns about health, air quality and water were expressed by many others who said they've experienced a number of symptoms since last week.

"This worsened my migraines. I still can't breathe right. I feel like I have a stuffy throat, stuffy nose. It's just been horrible. I need to know what's going on," Pasadena resident Kenia Escobar said.

Many also called out local politicians.

County Commissioner Adrian Garcia was the only elected official to show up at the town hall.

The people said they're counting on politicians to hold ITC and other companies responsible.

"It's not fair to the citizens. They're supposed to be looking out for us. They're not supposed to be looking out for them," Escobar said.

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