Concerns, questions voiced during permit hearing for ITC’s Pasadena terminal

PASADENA, Texas – A hearing was held on Thursday night about an application from Intercontinental Terminals Company to renew the operating permit for the Pasadena terminal. Company representatives and state officials also faced questions related to the 2019 fire in Deer Park.

“Our concerns about this permit are about the safety and health of our community,” said Jennifer Hadayia, the executive director of Air Alliance Houston. “We do not believe that a permit should be reissued until it has been made public to the community, the remediations that have been made in response to that explosion, and assurances that the same conditions are not in place for a future disaster at ITC Pasadena,” Hadayia said.

During the virtual hearing held by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, speakers asked about safety measures and potential changes following the fire.

“We’ll be asking about safety measures that have been put into place at the Pasadena facility to prevent future disasters, and requesting TCEQ to consider our concerns around the cumulative impact of air pollution on communities like Pasadena,” Hadayia said.

Pat Gonzales is a Pasadena resident who spoke at the hearing. She is also the founder and director of Caring for Pasadena Communities, an environmental group.

“We’ve turned in a lot of comments for that permit,” Gonzales said. “We’re against it. We don’t want that permit to happen.”

A representative for ITC told listeners that the company is committed to the safe operation of the Pasadena terminal and takes its role as a good neighbor seriously. He said they are confident operations at the site will continue to be safe and compliant.

Despite the questions and comments, neither company representatives nor state officials went into detail about the 2019 incident in Deer Park.

As for the Pasadena location, the executive director of TCEQ recommends the issuance of a draft permit, the agency said in the hearing notice.