Harris County will sue Arkema plant over chemical releases after fire

County hopes to recover costs for responding to incident

By Ruben Hidalgo - News Producer

Smoke and flames are seen at the Arkema plant in Crosby, Texas, on Sept. 1, 2017.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan now has the go-ahead to file a lawsuit against the owners of a Crosby plant that released unknown chemicals when their containers exploded.

Harris County commissioners approved filing the lawsuit against Arkema, Inc.

The plant on Crosby Eastgate Road lost power when it flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Workers were unable to keep the chemicals at the appropriate temperature. The containers began exploding Aug. 31 and continued burning for four days, forcing the evacuation of homes and businesses within a one-and-a-half mile radius of the plant.

Harris County Attorney Ryan will seek to recover the county's costs for responding to the incident. He also wants a court to review Arkema's environmental practices and emergency preparedness plan.

First responders have also filed a separate lawsuit against the company after several of them became ill while keeping residents clear of the evacuation zone.

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