Deer Park, Texas Harris County attorney Christian Menefee won a $ 900,000 settlement in the 2019 Intercontinental Terminals Company fire at Deer Park.
The ITC fire broke out when a tank containing a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture caught fire and spread to other tanks. The fire, which burned for several days, created a cloud over the Houston area before being extinguished. The fire resulted in local businesses and schools being closed during the fire.
ITC was held accountable in the lawsuit for violating Harris County’s development regulations and creating pollutants in the county’s rainwater system.
The Texas Attorney General is also pursuing an environmental case against ITC for illegal air emissions and non-county water discharges. The lawsuit was filed in Travis County under Harris County’s recent law that deprives the county of the right to bring cases under state environmental laws that the state has already intervened.
Menefee released the following statement:
“The Harris County Attorney’s Office will use all available tools to hold the industry accountable locally. This is a victory for taxpayers too. Almost $ 1,000,000 will be returned to the county. This is a sizeable deal – one of the largest our office has reached in these types of cases. We will consider all aspects to achieve environmental justice and urge these companies to take appropriate preventive measures to avoid future disasters like this, ”Menefee said. “I also urge state lawmakers to reconsider the law that prevents Harris County from making environmental claims that affect its residents. Harris County should be able to take full action against these polluters, and my office is ready to do just that. “
Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.