Texas attorney general files lawsuit against ITC for violations of Texas Clean Air Act

By Brittany Taylor - Digital News Editor
KPRC2

ITC's company logo and the fire in Deer Park on March 19, 2019.

DEER PARK, Texas - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an environmental lawsuit Friday against Intercontinental Terminals Co. for violations of the Texas Clean Air Act after the recent fire at a chemical facility in Deer Park that burned for nearly five days. 

The lawsuit claims the facility fire released several air contaminants, like benzene. 

“The state of Texas works hard to maintain good air quality and will hold ITC accountable for the damage it has done to our environment,” Paxton said. “ITC has a history of environmental violations, and this latest incident is especially disturbing and frightening. No company can be allowed to disrupt lives and put public health and safety at risk.” 

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said it will monitor the air quality in the affected areas about 20 miles east of Houston.

“I would like to thank the attorney general for acting so quickly on TCEQ’s request to enforce against ITC, LLC,” said TCEQ Executive Director Toby Baker. “Due to the dynamic, ongoing investigation of this incident, only air quality violations have been cited in the State of Texas lawsuit against ITC, LLC. Any additional violations, including surface water quality, will be referred to the Office of Attorney General for civil enforcement as part of this action.” 

The state requested that the court grants the following relief as followed by law: 

  • A permanent injunction
  • Civil penalties and reasonable attorney fees
  • Court costs
  • Investigative costs

The federal Chemical Safety Board announced Thursday that it is investigating the ITC fire.

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