ITC Fire Updates


This page will be updated continuously.  Please check back for the latest information.

Overview

On Sunday, March 17, 2019 at approximately 10AM, a storage tank caught fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park facility, located at 1943 Independence Parkway.

Industry neighbors and multiple local agencies actively fought the fire to prevent it from spreading and to extinguish it as quickly as possible.

As of early Wednesday morning, March 20, the fire had been extinguished.

Please refer to the links and documents below for the latest updates.

Claims to ITC

In a previous press release, ITC provided the following information:

"Claims have arisen as a result of the Sunday morning incident. If you believe you have suffered damage or loss as a result of the incident, you can go to http://itcclaims.com, download and fill out the appropriate claim form, and submit it with supporting documents using the following email address: incidents31719@itcclaims.com, or by mail to the following address:

ITC Claims

March 17, 2019 Incident

P.O. Box 698

Deer Park, Texas, 77536

Businesses and residents can also call the ITCCares telephone hotline at 346-263-9766. Please note that there are separate claim forms for businesses and individuals."

National Distress Hotline - Harris County Public Health 

Harris County Public Health wants to remind individuals that the situation may lead to strong feelings of stress or anxiety. If this is the case, talk to you someone you trust or contact the National Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746, which offers 24/7 emotional support.

Links

Ready Harris - Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM)

TCEQ - Current Conditions for Houston Metropolitan Area

Please find the link to latest press release from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) below.

Please note that comments regarding water quality are not related to City of Deer Park. Per updates below, the city's drinking water supply has been tested on a voluntary basis and all results were very positive.

Additionally, all air quality monitoring results within the City of Deer Park remain below actionable levels.

TCEQ Press Release - Saturday 23 March 2019

ITC - Original website with news and press releases from ITC

ITC Latest Press Release - Tuesday 2 March 2019

www.itcresponse.com - ITC's new web site to help disseminate accurate and timely information.

Harris County Public Health - Public health emergency information 


Water Quality Reports

FINAL WATER QUALITY REPORTS

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019

THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019

SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019

SUNDAY, MARCH 24, 2019

(Reports provided above for March 20-24 were updated following receipt of final VOC and SVOC test results - April 11, 2019)

WATER QUALITY REPORTS - MARCH 25-APRIL 12

Monday 25 March 2019

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Wednesday 27 March 2019

THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2019

FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019

SATURDAY, MARCH 30, 2019

SUNDAY, MARCH 31, 2019

MONDAY, APRIL 1, 2019

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 2019 - Final

FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2019 - Final

MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019

FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019


Updates

Friday, 12 April 2019

The City of Deer Park is continually monitoring air quality within the city limits following the fire incident at the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park site.

Dispatch has received multiple calls regarding odors throughout the City. Air monitoring is continuing throughout the city limits, and at this time there have been no actionable readings within the city limits.

The City will continue to monitor air quality throughout the area and make our residents aware of any readings at or above actionable levels. Odors below actionable levels may be noticeable, but should be called in to the Deer Park Police Department’s Non-Emergency number, 281-479-1511, so air monitoring readings can be verified.

At this time, the routine siren test is scheduled for tomorrow, April 13, at 12PM. Please continue to monitor our social media channels as well as www.deerparktx.gov/ for updated information.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Following the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) fire event on March 17, the City of Deer Park began conducting voluntary sampling of the drinking water supply to ensure public safety during and following the incident.

To meet this goal, the City began working with Envirodyne Laboratories, Inc. on March 20 and continued a daily sampling process through April 1. This sampling assessed the City’s drinking water supply for the presence of volatile organic carbons (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic carbons (SVOCs). The VOC and SVOC tests check for the presence of particulates including benzene, toluene and xylene, products released during the ITC fire and response.

To date, no readings have reached or surpassed drinking water standards, which are established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). In other words, the City received favorable drinking water quality results throughout the response period.

However, according to Surface Water Plant Supervisor Nicholas Cook, the City received notification from Envirodyne on Tuesday that one sample collected on March 31 reflected a trace amount of benzene, which is approximately five times lower than the drinking water standard. These results were provided to the City at the conclusion of the 10-day testing cycle for SVOCs.

“Throughout the response period, we have been in consistent communication with Envirodyne Laboratories, and we were notified Tuesday that one sample tested positive for benzene at a level approximately five times lower than the drinking water standard,” Cook said. “Sampling conducted before and after that result had no detections of benzene. Although we received reporting of the low-level presence for one day, all of the results we have received show that our water is - and has been - safe for citizen consumption.”

In subsequent communication with TCEQ, Cook confirmed that the trace amount of benzene detected in the single sample would not cause short-term or long-term health effects to residents.

“In addition to completing voluntary testing through Envirodyne, the City’s Water Treatment Plant staff has been diligent in conducting regular sampling of the water coming in and leaving the plant throughout and following the ITC event,” Cook said. “We understand the community’s concerns following this major incident, but have taken every possible precaution to continually ensure the safety of our drinking water supply.”

Since April 1, VOC tests have continued three times per week. As the City has received each set of water quality results, they were shared with the community through the City’s website on both an ITC Fire page and on a “Water Quality” news item on the City’s homepage. The City will continue to share water testing results as they are provided.

Tuesday 09 April 2019

05:45PM - City of Deer Park

As the response and clean-up efforts continue at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park, the community is reminded to visit the ITC website dedicated to this response, https://itcresponse.com/category/operational-updates, which is continually updated with new information.

Wednesday 03 April 2019

1:15 PM - City of Deer Park

The City of Deer Park received additional data Wednesday from Envirodyne Laboratories, Inc. following voluntary testing on the city's drinking water supply following the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park fire and response.

According to Nicholas Cook, Surface Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, the additional content includes semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC) data. The volatile organic compounds (VOC) data from the original report is unchanged and provided as part of the final report. All the data indicates there are no health concerns related to the city’s drinking water.

Cook said additional results will be provided to the City regularly, and the information will be posted to the City's website when it is received.

View the updated report here: City drinking water - Voluntary testing results

12:45PM -City of Deer Park

The Deer Park community is advised that ongoing updates regarding clean-up efforts following the fire incident at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park will be made available here: https://itcresponse.com/category/operational-updates/.

Per an ITC media advisory issued on Wednesday, April 3, statistical updates will be posted to the site regularly.

 Click here for a screenshot of the site as of today, April 3.

Monday 01 April 2019

01:15PM -City of Deer Park

City of Deer Park - Monday Update

This morning, the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) held a press conference to provide an update on the response and recovery following the ITC incident.

Unified Command representatives from ITC, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality met to discuss their continued efforts including favorable air quality readings and oil recovery operations. Unified Command continues to work to keep the public and the environment safe.

The City continues to conduct third-party air quality monitoring, and we did not receive any readings above actionable levels over the weekend. The City will continually monitor air quality and post updates to its outlets including Facebook and the City’s website, deerparktx.gov.

According to the Harris County Public Health Department (HCPHD), there continues to be a low health risk for the public. HCPHD advises that those with health concerns should contact their healthcare provider.

Due to the ongoing recovery from the ITC Incident, the San Jacinto Museum announced on March 28 that the San Jacinto Day Festival has been cancelled.

The Lynchburg Ferry is still closed until further notice.

The link to ITC’s press release issued Sunday night is available here: http://deerparktx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/7320/ITC-Press-Release-Statement-30-2030-CST-03-31-2019.

Please continue to monitor our outlets for updates, including our dedicated ITC Fire Incident webpage, www.deerparktx.gov/itcfire.

Sunday 31 March 2019

11:00AM -City of Deer Park

City of Deer Park update -

Throughout the response to the ITC Fire and response, the City has conducted third-party air quality monitoring and we continue to receive readings below actionable levels.

Please continue to monitor our information outlets for updates.

The Deer Park Police Department Non-Emergency phone number is 281-479-1511.

Saturday 30 March 2019

07:45PM -City of Deer Park

Deer Park resident advisory:

As the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) continues cleanup efforts at the Deer Park site, fluctuations in air quality may impact Deer Park, our industry partners and neighboring cities.

The City of Deer Park is not currently under a Shelter-in-Place, but we are watching air quality closely and will update our residents immediately if any readings reach or surpass actionable levels.

Per an ITC press release issued shortly after 7PM, no residential areas had been impacted by the cleanup efforts as of 5:45PM, but "brief, periodic fluctuations in benzene readings within a two-mile radius" of the site had been reported.

The City will continually monitor air quality and post updates to its outlets including Facebook and the City's website, deerparktx.gov.

Friday 29 March 2019

05:15PM -City of Deer Park

Deer Park resident advisory:

The City of Deer Park is continually monitoring weather forecasts as well as air quality within the city limits following the fire incident at the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park site. Current weather forecasts predict wind traveling from the north beginning Saturday evening. This creates the possibility of contaminated air from the ITC site being directed toward the city limits.

As the City has done throughout the response, we will continue to monitor air quality throughout the area and make our residents aware of any readings at or above actionable levels. Odors below actionable levels may be noticeable, but should be called in to 281-479-1511 so air monitoring readings can be verified.

If necessary, in order to protect the public, we will renew our Shelter-in-Place order for the portions of the city impacted by contaminants.

Our first priority is keeping our community safe and informed as clean-up efforts continue at ITC. Visit the City website, www.deerparktx.gov, for continual updates.

11:30AM -City of Deer Park

City of Deer Park update – Friday, March 29

As response and recovery continues following the fire incident at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park, residents are advised of several important items.

First, please note that the weekly testing of the City’s outdoor alarm system scheduled for Saturdays at 12PM will NOT take place tomorrow, March 30. Testing will likely resume on Saturday, April 6.

Secondly, residents are notified that the City has received two more sets of results following voluntary testing of the City's drinking water supply. According to Surface Water Treatment Plant Supervisor Nicholas Cook, the results did not show any health concerns associated with the City's water.

A new water quality news item has been added to the homepage to provide easy access to the information - which includes these two newest reports - for our citizens.

Finally, the community is advised that the annual San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment traditionally held at the San Jacinto Monument will not be held this year due to the incident.

Per a press release issued by the San Jacinto Museum of History, “The difficult decision has been made to cancel the 2019 San Jacinto Festival and Battle Reenactment scheduled for April 13th. The recent chemical fire and spill at the ITC facility is an ongoing emergency at the doorstep of the San Jacinto Battleground. At the present time, access to the site is restricted to emergency personnel involved in the continuing incident. All preparations needed for a successful Festival & Battle Reenactment by necessity, have been halted.”

ITC response update

In a press release issued late Thursday, the Unified Command at ITC Deer Park stated that cleanup operations, booming and product removal are ongoing.

Per the release, nearly 100,000 feet of boom were deployed, covering water in the Battleship Texas area, the oyster beds located in Burnett Bay, Carpenters Bayou, Crystal Bay Marsh, Old River, Patrick Bayou, Santa Anna Bayou, the western shore of the mouth of the San Jacinto River, Tucker Bayou, and the Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC (ITC) docks.

The press release also stated that seven of the 15 tanks at the site were secured. The release stated: “Responders are currently removing product from tanks 80-2 and 80-3. Once those tanks are secured, product removal from tanks 80-5 and 80-6 will begin.”

As of 6 a.m. on March 28, 28,528 barrels (1.2 million gallons) of oily water mix has been removed from the waterways surrounding ITC Deer Park including Tucker Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel. From the tank farm, 35,724 barrels (approximately 1.5 million gallons) of product mixed with water and firefighting foam have been removed.

Response personnel are still foaming the containment area as needed to maintain a sufficient foam level in the tank farm.

Thursday 28 March 2019

12:15PM -City of Deer Park

On Thursday morning, March 28, the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) held a press conference to provide an update on the response and recovery following the ITC incident.
 Unified Command representatives from ITC, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) participated in the conference.
 EPA Update
 Adam Adams, a representative of the EPA, discussed Unified Command’s progress.
 “Progress continues to move forward, and the tank farm situation improves every day,” said Adams. “We continue to monitor both air and water quality.”
 Adams emphasized that Unified Command is doing a good job protecting the community and the environment, and that over 1,000 personnel are responding to the incident.
 U.S. Coast Guard, TCEQ Update
 Captain Kevin Oditt with the U.S. Coast Guard indicated that the organization continues to coordinate vessel movements through the impacted areas of the Houston Ship Channel, and that every vessel is visually inspected to determine if the vessel requires decontamination.
 “We recently implemented an additional visual inspection team, so we expect to coordinate additional vessel movement as our inspection rates increase,” stated Captain Oditt.
 “Additionally, we continue to focus on our oil recovery operations,” said Captain Oditt. “Last night, we recovered 4,100 barrels of oil, bringing our total recovery to 11,900 barrels.”
 According to TCEQ Emergency Management Coordinator Anthony Buck, TCEQ is working around the clock to provide real time data to the community. Buck emphasized air quality monitoring continues to report only favorable readings, and that there were no drinking water sources in the ITC area. Additionally, Buck indicated that TCEQ is working with ITC to review the incident’s Waste Plan.
 ITC Update
 Brent Weber with ITC said that the company continues to make good progress.
 “We are steadily removing product from 80-13,” said Weber. “We continue to bring in additional resources to help us with our efforts.”
 Weber noted that ITC’s focus for today will be to transfer product from 80-13, begin product removal from 80-2 and 80-3, continue to recover product from the tank farm area, remediate ditches and to support both the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard with waterway remediation.
 The Lynchburg Ferry continues to be closed.
 ITC’s next press conference will be held tomorrow, March 29, at 10:30AM.
 Deer Park Independent School District Update
 The Deer Park Independent School District has posted information to their website regarding missed school days:
 “Thanks to the waiver from the state and the extra minutes in our calendar, we do not have to make up any extra instructional time. This fantastic news means that we can finish the school year without changing our calendar. Thus, holidays on April 19 and May 27 remain as such, and the last day of school and high school graduation will take place as scheduled on May 24.”
 The community is encouraged to continue monitoring social media, City of Deer Park outlets and the ITC website dedicated to this response, https://www.iterm.com/news, for updates.
 Additionally, the City of Deer Park created a “Drinking Water Information” page on our website that contains Water Quailty Reports and water related updates. You can view the webpage here: http://deerparktx.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1002

Wednesday 27 March 2019

04:15PM -City of Deer Park

The City of Deer Park Surface Water Treatment Plant has received preliminary testing results from Envirodyne Laboratories, Incorporated based on drinking water supply sampling conducted on a daily basis from March 20-25.

As indicated by Nicholas Cook, Plant Supervisor, the results reflected positively on the City’s water, and none of the data received showed evidence of benzene in the samples.

The testing was completed on a voluntary basis following the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park fire and response, which resulted in run-off of foam and chemicals into Tucker Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel, which is NOT a source of drinking water for the City of Deer Park.

While the sampling was voluntary on the City’s part, we have communicated with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) since the supplemental sampling for benzene and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). The City has received multiple sets of results regarding benzene and VOCs indicating there are no health concerns associated with the City’s drinking water. SVOC results are anticipated to arrive on or around April 2.

Cook said daily sampling of the water coming into the Surface Water Treatment Plant, raw water and the outgoing, finished water will continue until further notice.

“We have conducted daily sampling of the City’s drinking water supply since Wednesday, March 20 and completed additional voluntary testing in the days following the ITC response,” Cook said. “As expected, the results of the testing have been favorable and have only returned readings that indicate our water is successfully meeting standards established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).”

Specifically, Cook verified that no benzene has been found in the municipal water supply. With respect to trihalomethanes (THM), he said the average level for this time period was 21.7 micrograms per Liter, which is far below the legally allowed 80 micrograms per Liter. Trihalomethanes are a by-product of chlorine, a disinfectant. Cook said the THM level has fluctuated throughout the reporting period and that is typical.

Residents are advised that a third-party company has distributed water sampling packets throughout Deer Park over the last several days. These packets are in no way affiliated with the City of Deer Park, and the City does not endorse the services being advertised.

10:00AM -City of Deer Park

A joint press conference including the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Coast Guard, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton was held Wednesday morning to address ongoing response to the ITC fire incident.

As of Wednesday morning, a portion of traffic through the Houston Ship Channel has resumed, and air and water quality monitoring are continuing by multiple organizations. Additionally, ITC has completed remediation on the tanks containing Pyrolysis Gas (pygas) and are taking more aggressive actions to remediate the entire tank farm as well as contingent ditches and water sources.

EPA update

In addition to confirming that no actionable air quality readings had been reported to Unified Command, EPA representative Adam Adams stated that the personnel on site are preparing for multiple contingencies depending on weather changes and wind shifts.

Based on up-to-date information from the National Weather Service, wind direction for the next several days is forecast to be moving away from Deer Park.

Adams also received questions regarding environmental impacts resulting from the response, including the foam and chemical run-off into Tucker Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel. While he confirmed that 14 fish and one turtle had been found deceased, he said no other environmental impacts had been reported. He also referred similar questions to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).

U.S. Coast Guard, TCEQ update

Captain Richard Howes with the U.S. Coast Guard indicated that the organization was working with the Houston Ship Channel to control movement of vessels through the area impacted by the response.

He said a total of 106 vessels had travelled through the affected area and only one had required minor cleaning which was completed with hot water.

“The Captain of the Houston Ship Channel has re-opened the Houston Ship Channel from Tucker Bayou to Light 116 during daylight hours only,” Howes said. “A vessel traffic coordination team in Houston is vetting vessels, working to make sure the right products get to right place at the right time.

“All that thru-traffic will be inspected continually, and as soon as we can open to Houston Ship Channel to full traffic, we will do so.”

Anthony Buck, TCEQ Emergency Management Coordinator, emphasized that air monitoring with hand-held devices and water sampling in both the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bay were being conducted around the clock.

While he indicated the same types of chemicals that were being stored at ITC were found in the water, he emphasized that there were no drinking water sources in the ITC area.

ITC update

Brent Weber with ITC said the company had made good progress since Tuesday, stating that tank 80-10 – the last holding pygas at the site – was secure and air quality was improving around the impacted area.

“Today, our focus will be on product removal,” he said. “we’re actively pumping tank 80-13, with multiple resources being staged in order for us to enter the tank farm and be more aggressive in our recovery and remediation efforts.

“Our remediation efforts also continue in impacted waterways including Tucker Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel.”

Mayor Mouton said the City of Deer Park is continuing to monitor the situation through continuous air quality monitoring in order to ensure public safety.

“I am pleased to see the progress being made in regard to minimizing the risk to the public,” he said. “We are having our drinking water supply monitored to ensure the safety of our community and continuing to push information through our City’s website.”

The Lynchburg Ferry continues to be closed.

 Deer Park residents are encouraged to visit www.deerparktx.gov/ITCFire for updated air and water quality monitoring results as well as continual updates on response efforts.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

01:45PM -City of Deer Park

The Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) just issued its most recent press release regarding the ITC Deer Park fire and response.

Major takeaways include:

1. The Harris County Health Department (HCPH) has reported that based on current health-related data from multiple sources, there continues to be overall a low health risk for the general public.

2. HCPH recommends that any individuals who have health concerns should contact their healthcare provider or if more serious, call 911. If you do not have a health care provider, the Harris Health System’s ‘Ask My Nurse’ helpline remains open to help answer health questions. The number is 713-634-1110.

3. ITC operational personnel continue to transfer product from 80-10 and plan to begin emptying tank 80-13 once operations are complete on 80-10.

Tanks 80-7 and 80-14 are empty and secure.

4. Tucker Bayou and the water adjacent ITC piers remain the primary impacted areas and the product is contained within booming.

5. Booms are deployed, covering Tucker Bayou, the ITC docks, Patrick Bayou, Old River, Carpenter Bayou, Battleship Texas, Santa Ana Bayou, the western shore of the mouth of the San Jacinto River, and the oyster beds located in Burnett Bay.

As of 6:45 a.m. on March 26, the on-land response has removed approximately 33,394 barrels (1.4 million gallons) of product mixed with water and firefighting foam from the tank farm. Approximately 12,897 barrels (541,000 gallons) of oily water mix has been removed from the waterways.

Since March 19, 2019, more than 1,100 federal, state and local first responders, agencies, and environmental cleanup contractors have been on the scene and actively assessing, booming and continuing to remove product from affected areas.

The full press release is linked below.

 ITC Press Release

11:45AM - City of Deer Park

On Tuesday morning, March 26, the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) held a press conference to provide an update on the response and recovery following the ITC incident.

Unified Command representatives from ITC, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) – as well as Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton – participated in the conference.

Adam Adams with the EPA stated that there have been no significant changes to air and water quality since yesterday’s press release.

“The incident site is becoming more stable and more secure every day,” said Adams. “We are still regularly conducting air quality monitoring with Harris County, TCEQ, local authorities and ITC, who have also received only favorable readings in our community.

“Water operations are ongoing to recover the products in the Ship Channel, Tucker Bayou and Buffalo Bayou,” Adams stated. “Weather conditions change continuously, and we are preparing for that.”

According to Lt. Commander Caren Damon with the U.S. Coast Guard, water operations are ongoing and making good progress.

“The Houston Ship Channel remains closed, but we were able to resume coordinated movements thanks to our visual inspection teams who verify that there is no product on the vessels,” said Lt. Commander Damon. "We are working to ensure no contaminants enter unaffected areas."

Brent Weber, ITC’s representative in Unified Command, stated that ITC is in a proactive response mode.

“We are making good progress on our objectives,” said Weber. “We are continuing to remove product from the incident site, remediate waterways and ensure that our progress does not negatively impact the community.”

Mayor Jerry Mouton expressed his gratitude for all involved.

“I am blown away from the local, state and federal response,” said Mayor Mouton. “I continue to thank our first responders for their tireless efforts throughout this incident.

“I am cautiously optimistic in regards to the risk that is continuing to subside in the community.”

The community is encouraged to continue monitoring social media, City of Deer Park outlets and the ITC website dedicated to this response, https://www.iterm.com/news, for updates.

Monday 25 March 2019

05:30PM - City of Deer Park

Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton participated in a joint press conference this afternoon with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, Harris County Public Health and others regarding Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park clean-up efforts. 

The group emphasized that officials are maintaining Level 3 readiness as clean-up continues.

“It’s important to underline this incident is not over – it is a volatile situation and we need to be cautious. That’s why we’re still at this level of activation,” Hidalgo said. “In terms of the ongoing investigation, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office has delivered a subpoena to prohibit the destruction of any evidence.

“We are watching closely, preparing for contingencies, and mapping out all possible situations.”

Mayor Mouton expressed cautious optimism and emphasized the safety of Deer Park’s residents has remained his top priority.

“I’m very happy with the progress we’ve seen in the last few days, and I’m happy to say we’re maintaining a safe environment for our residents at this time,” he said.

Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health, reminded the Houston community to be mindful should they notice health-related concerns.

“Our focus is on the health and well-being of the community at large,” Shah said. “We continue to remind individuals – if they feel they have symptoms – to contact their health care provider or utilize the ‘Ask My Nurse’ health line.”

The “Ask my Nurse” hotline by Harris Health System is open from 8AM to 8:30PM, seven days a week, at 713-634-1110. Nurses on the line will help with questions about signs and symptoms.


12:15PM - City of Deer Park

An Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) press conference was held Monday, March 25 to provide an update on response and recovery following the fire event at the Deer Park site.

Unified Command representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) – as well as Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton – participated in the conference.

“Every hour, every day, security and stabilization is being conducted on the tank farm and the tanks inside, and it’s getting better every time and emissions are getting lower,” said Adam Adams with the EPA. “Additionally, our oil recovery operations on the water are continuing, where we are recovering oil in Tucker’s Bayou and other large pockets.

“We are also continuing community air monitoring, and in the last 24 hours, there have been no air monitoring detentions that required an alert to unified command. Air monitoring is being conducted continuously by the EPA, TCEQ, Harris County and ITC, and we have over 100 assets conducting that work in the field.”

U.S. Coast Guard Commander Kevin Oditt also provided an update, indicating that mitigating the impact to the environment remained top priority.

“The Houston Ship Channel remains closed, but we had a tank ship travel through the impacted area yesterday in order to assess its impact to on-scene recovery, and this morning, we’ve had an additional ship come through,” he said. “Additionally, we had a partial re-opening of the San Jacinto River yesterday, and today, we have re-opened it to two-way barge traffic.”

Progress at ITC

Brent Weber, ITC Incident Commander, provided insight on the company’s main objectives over the last 24 hours and discussed upcoming goals.

“The three objectives we were focused on yesterday were product removal from the tanks and tank farm, to remediate the ditches at the ITC property and to continue remediating our waterways,” he said. “I’m happy to report that my team made significant progress on all three objectives with no injuries to responders.

“Specifically, we were able to remove additional product from tank 80-7 and removed all product from tank 80-14 – that tank is now considered empty and secure. We’re also actively removing product from tank 80-10 and expect to have it empty soon. The next tank we’re targeting is 80-13, and we have also been remediating ditches since the beginning of the incident.”

Mayor Jerry Mouton said he was very optimistic with respect to the progress being made at the site.

“I’m amazed at the collaborative effort I’m seeing, and I hope we will soon reach a point where we can assure the public that this site has been secured,” he said. “I’d encourage our community to keep our first responders in your prayers.”

On-scene media requested the results of waterway sampling conducted by TCEQ, and TCEQ Emergency Response Coordinator Jeff Kunze indicated some results had been posted, and additional data would be made available on the organization’s website at https://www.tceq.texas.gov/response/itc-terminal-fire-update.

The community is encouraged to continue monitoring social media, City of Deer Park outlets and the ITC website dedicated to this response, https://www.iterm.com/news, for updates.

Sunday 24 March 2019

09:15PM - City of Deer Park

City of Deer Park update – Sunday, March 24 

The multi-jurisdictional response continues at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park following the recent fire incident. Currently, there have been no air quality readings impacting the city limits of Deer Park, but monitoring is ongoing. 

Residents are advised that school will resume at all Deer Park Independent School District campuses tomorrow, March 25. Per information added to DPISD.org, the campuses have been prepared for students’ return, and additional information regarding how the district plans to address school time missed last week is available on the site, as well.

Per the Lynchburg Ferry Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/lynchburgferry/, the "Ferry is still closed to the public. Residents will see it operating, but it is only ferrying essential personnel." The community is asked to continue utilizing alternate routes.

ITC press release – Sunday PM

In a press release issued late Sunday, ITC Unified Command indicated clean-up operations are continuing at the Deer Park site, as well as in Tucker’s Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel.

As stated in the release, “ITC operational personnel are pumping out tank 80-7. They are currently transferring product from 80-14 and will begin transferring from tanks 80-15 and 80-10 all to tank 80-18. They’re also still pumping product from the ditch using vacuum trucks and hoses.”

The release also indicated that foaming of the tank farm is continuing hourly to maintain a two-foot layer of foam.

Impact to Tucker’s Bayou and surrounding areas

The latest ITC press release indicated there are 34 vessels including 15 skimmers on-scene conducting operations in Tucker’s Bayou and adjacent areas.

As stated in the release, “Tucker’s Bayou and the adjacent ITC piers remain the primary impacted location and the product is contained within booming. Over-flights were able to confirm the western leading edge of the product is located at Patrick’s Bayou and the eastern leading edge is at Old River, with pockets of additional product in the vicinity of Lynchburg Ferry and San Jacinto Port.

“Approximately 27,000-feet of boom has been deployed, covering Tucker's Bayou, the ITC docks, Patrick’s Bayou, Old River, Carpenter’s Bayou, Battleship Texas, Santa Ana Bayou, the western shore of the mouth of the San Jacinto River and other areas.”

San Jacinto River opening

The ITC press release stated that the Coast Guard Captain of the Port opened the San Jacinto River for a period of time to allow vessel traffic through the channel on Sunday from 5PM to 7PM and will open the area again on Monday from 9AM to 12PM. The Houston Ship Channel remains closed to traffic between Tucker’s Bayou and HSC Light 116 and closed for cargo operations from HSC Light 139 to HSC Light 129.

Updates are to be added to ITC’s web page (www.iterm.com/news), as well as those of the responding agencies.


01:37PM - City of Deer Park

Please be advised: There have been no flare-ups or additional fires at the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) today, Sunday.

Should we receive notification from ITC regarding a flare up, chemical fire or other emergency, we will update our channels.

Please stay tuned to City of Deer Park outlets for continued updates.

11:30AM 

 ITC Press Release

11:30AM - City of Deer Park

Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) held a press conference Sunday morning to provide updates on recovery and clean-up efforts in and around the ITC Deer Park site following the fire events last week.

Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton, as well as representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) participated, all sharing encouraging updates.

With respect to efforts within the ITC tank farm to pump products out of the containment tanks – including tank 80-7 that contained Pyrolysis Gas (Pygas) – ITC Incident Commander Brent Weber indicated that significant progress was made Saturday evening and overnight.

“Of the estimated 20,000 barrels of material in tank 80-7, we were able to remove approximately 13,000 barrels by lowering in a submersible pump,” he said. “The tank includes both a fixed roof and a floating roof inside the tank, and we were able to remove all of the product above the floating roof.

“As a result, the tank is in a secure position, and we are continuing to apply foam and remove the remaining liquid. Over the next 24 hours, our focus will be to methodically remove all of the product within the tank farm, get the tank farm clean and reduce the impact to the community.”

ITC also confirmed that vacuuming operations are continuing at the ditch adjacent to the tank farm and will continue until the product is removed. According to a press release issued shortly after this morning’s press conference, approximately 650 barrels of product have been removed from the ditch, and approximately 2,080 barrels of product have been removed from Tucker Bayou.

Further, the release indicated that product level inside the tank farm secondary containment area was down from a level of two feet on Saturday morning to two inches on Sunday morning.

Updates from U.S. Coast Guard and EPA

Lt. Commander Jarod Toczko with the U.S. Coast Guard provided an update with respect to containment efforts of the chemical and foam run-off into Tucker Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel.

Toczko indicated that the impact from the materials released into the water spanned an area of approximately two miles, but that the bulk of the product had been successfully contained within the Tucker Bayou area.

“Yesterday, we were utilizing 8,500 feet of boom to contain the product – we have now tripled that 27,000 feet,” Toczko said. “Where we needed to double and triple boom, we have done that. As of now, we are looking at looking at options for potentially reopening portions of the Houston Ship Channel that would not negatively impact clean-up efforts.”

EPA representative Adam Adams indicated progress has been “extremely good” on the water side, and efforts have ramped up quickly over the last 12 hours.

“We are very happy with the support and teamwork we’re getting from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality,” he said.

Mayor Mouton said the first priority for the City of Deer Park continues to be the residents’ safety.

“While our emergency operations are still fully activated in Deer Park, I’m extremely happy with the progress we’ve seen in the last 24 hours,” he said.

ITC also announced the availability of a new web site to help disseminate accurate and timely information. The new site is www.itcresponse.com.

9:50AM

City of Deer Park update – Sunday, March 24 

Multi-jurisdictional air and water quality monitoring continues following the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park fire and response this week. Clean-up efforts at the ITC site are ongoing, and further information will be provided following an ITC press conference later this morning.

With respect to both air quality and drinking water, the City of Deer Park has not received any readings which represent a health concern to our citizens. We will continue to provide updates and make them available on our dedicated webpage to the ITC fire and response, www.deerparktx.gov/itcfire.

The Deer Park Independent School District has posted information to their website regarding efforts over the weekend for students’ return. As stated on the site:

“When it’s time for children to safely return to school, buildings will be ready for them. Our maintenance team members are working this weekend to address the following needs:

• Team members are replacing school air filters. They have already been replaced at San Jacinto Elementary, Deer Park High School-North Campus, and Deer Park Junior High. Crews are currently working at the Deepwater-area schools.

• Maintenance team members are also washing down playground equipment to make it clean and safe for students when they return.

• Maintenance employees are also walking school grounds to identify additional needs.

• Air systems will be activated prior to students returning so that stagnant air can cycle through the air handlers, eliminating odors and refreshing the air inside the buildings.”

As of Sunday morning, no decision had been made about whether or not school will resume on Monday.

Saturday 23 March 2019

07:30 - ITC Press Release

*Correction - Rate of pumping was 1,300 barrels per hour.*

As stated in a press release from Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) on Saturday afternoon, the company has commenced pumping out of one of its Deer Park site tanks as of approximately 3:30PM. ITC stated it is pumping pyrolysis gasoline (pygas) from tank 80-7 at a rate of 1,300 gallons per hour. In addition, ITC stated several vacuum trucks are pumping liquid out of the ditch adjacent to the facility following a dike wall collapse on Friday.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

03:00PM - City of Deer Park

Yesterday evening the second round of sampling from the Deer Park Water Treatment Plant was received from Envirodyne Laboratory Incorporated. The report was similar to the report provided on Thursday.
Samples were taken from the raw, untreated water as it enters the plant and from the finished water leaving the plant. Neither sample contained benzene. The raw water had a total of 21 micrograms per liter of trihalomethanes (THMs) while the finished water had 23 micrograms per liter. The maximum level of THMs for drinking water is 80 micrograms per liter, so the Deer Park water is still well below the maximum level allowable.
Staff is collecting additional samples today and tomorrow for analysis on Monday.

11:00AM - City of Deer Park

On Saturday morning, Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC), the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton held a joint press conference on the ongoing response to the ITC Deer Park fire incident.

Mayor Jerry Mouton at 10AM Joint Press Conference 03-23-2019

ITC Incident Commander Brent Weber and Public Information Officer Alice Richardson provided details on the events at the site on Friday, including a containment wall breach and reignited fire, which was extinguished at approximately 4:45PM. Weber also provided insight into the company’s goals for the next 24 hours.

EPA spokesperson Adam Adams provided an update regarding ongoing air quality monitoring and water testing in the area surrounding the containment breach including Tucker Bayou. As well, U.S. Coast Guard Commander Kevin Oditt provided insight into the closure of the Houston Ship Channel.

As of Saturday morning, the City of Deer Park had not collected any air monitoring readings within the city limits which indicated health concern to the community.

ITC update – Activity at containment site

ITC issued a press release following Saturday’s 10AM press conference detailing the on-site response since Friday.

On Friday morning, efforts were beginning to pump materials from tank 80-7 into separate containment vessels. However, after a breach of the containment wall surrounding the tank farm at approximately 12:15PM, efforts to pump out 80-7 were suspended in order to address the breach.

The situation intensified when fire reignited at approximately 3:45PM, with tanks 80-2, 80-3 and 80-5 involved. The fire, which spread to the liquid that escaped through the containment wall, was extinguished at approximately 4:45PM.

“The cause of the breach of the containment wall is not known,” Richardson said. “The liquid that escaped the barrier was a mix of the products from tanks that burned in the fire, firefighting foam and water from ongoing firefighting efforts.

“Firefighters immediately began spraying water and foam on both fires, and the fire was extinguished at 4:45PM. At this time, we are currently making efforts to strengthen the repaired portion of the wall. We are also conducting a survey of the remaining containment wall.”

Ongoing response plan

Brent Weber, Incident Commander with ITC, said additional foam pumps are staged around the containment area, which will allow a higher volume of foam to be placed over the area quickly should the foam barrier be broken.

“We are continuing to monitor VOC levels and have measured intermittent levels in the area close to site of fire,” he said. “Community monitoring to this point has generated no levels of immediate health concern.”

In terms of on-site objectives for the next 24 hours, Weber said the focus of unified command would be to shift back to a proactive response, remediate the impacts to the area adjacent to the tank farm as well as Tucker Bayou, and to move the chemical material from the tank farm to container vessels.

“We are using every resource available to us to address multiple goals, maintain our foam layer to prevent additional fires, and stay in proactive mode,” Weber said.

Mayor Mouton addresses community impact

During the press conference, Mayor Mouton emphasized that the City of Deer Park was continuously represented in ITC incident command.

“Our continuing priority is public safety, and I am out here communicating with ITC to make sure everything that can be done is being done,” he said.

Continued monitoring by EPA, TCEQ, and U.S. Coast Guard

EPA representative Adam Adams indicated that air monitoring on the ground, mobile monitoring and air monitoring are continuing, and that air monitoring resources were moved downwind from the incident following the breach and fire at the site on Friday.

He indicated that no detections of benzene at a level above 1 part per million (PPM) were detected in impacted communities.

In terms of the material that escaped the tank farm and reached the waters adjacent to the plant, Adams said the EPA would be focused on containing and cleaning up the contaminants.

“Prior to yesterday’s breach, the oil in Tucker Bayou had been contained, but now we have some in Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel,” he said. “We will be working to clean up the oil in those areas and wherever else we’re needed.

“Since yesterday, we have been in continuous communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and have asked them to join unified command and provide support.”

U.S. Coast Guard Commander Kevin Oditt said the focus at this point is to ensure the safety of all first responders and to re-open the Houston Ship Channel when it is safe to do so.

He indicated that when the port was closed, some cargo operations were suspended.

As well, the Lynchburg Ferry is out of operation until further notice.

TCEQ Emergency Management Coordinator Anthony Buck said water sampling in the area began on March 19, and preliminary results would be made available on the organization’s website as soon as they were completed.

Mayor Jerry Mouton at 10AM Press Conference 03-23-2019

11:00AM - Harris Count Precinct 2

Please see the post below from Harris County Precinct 2 to see the eight County parks that are temporarily closed. The City of Deer Park is not closing any public parks at this time as none of our parks are adjacent to waterfronts that were impacted by the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) incident. Additionally, the Baytown Nature Center will be closed until further notice.

park closures

09:15AM - City of Deer Park

Multi-jurisdictional monitoring continues in and around the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park site following the site fire and response. The City of Deer Park stands ready to mobilize as needed, but Shelter-in-Place orders or State Highway 225 closures related to the ITC response are not anticipated at this time.

Residents are advised that the weekly testing of the City’s outdoor alarm system scheduled for Saturdays at 12PM will NOT take place today.

State Highway 225 construction – Unrelated to ITC response

Area drivers are reminded that the eastbound main lanes and feeder road of State Highway 225 will be closed tonight (Saturday, March 23) from 9PM-5AM for construction from Beltway 8 to Bearle Street. This planned construction has no connection to the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) fire and response.

As confirmed by the Texas Department of Transportation, the closure is planned to continue on Sunday night during the same timeframe (9PM-5AM). During the same time, one of the westbound inside lanes of State Highway 225 will be closed from Center Street to Beltway 8.

The detour for eastbound traffic will be as follows:

Motorists traveling eastbound will exit and turn right onto the Beltway 8 frontage road, U-turn at Greenshadow, continue onto the Beltway 8 northbound frontage road and turn right onto State Highway 225.

Physical and mental health resources

For health related questions, the “Ask a Nurse” hotline by Harris Health System is now open from 8AM to 8:30PM, seven days a week, at 713-634-1110. Nurses on the line will help with questions about signs and symptoms.

Harris County Public Health wants to remind individuals that the situation may lead to strong feelings of stress or anxiety. If needed, contact the National Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746, which offers 24/7 emotional support.

Stay tuned to the City’s social media outlets for updated information as it becomes available.

Friday 22 March 2019

04:45PM - Harris County Precinct 8

Harris County Precinct 8 is re-opening the BW-8 bridge

04:25PM - City of Deer Park

At approximately 4:15 PM, Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) released confirmation that multiple tanks in the west side of the Deer Park site containment area have re-ignited. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

04:20PM - Harris County Precinct 8 

As a precaution, Harris County Precinct 8 is shutting down the Beltway 8 Ship Channel Bridge. 

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

03:45PM - City of Deer Park

We are aware of a flare up moments ago at the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park site.

The City of Deer Park is not issuing a Shelter-in-Place order at this time but we are monitoring the situation.

We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

3:30PM - City of Deer Park

Driver notice: State Highway 225 closure nightly through Monday, March 25 for TxDOT construction 

Area drivers are reminded that the eastbound main lanes and feeder road of State Highway 225 will be closed tonight (Friday, March 22) from 9PM-5AM for construction from Beltway 8 to Bearle Street. This planned construction has no connection to the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) fire and response.

As confirmed by the Texas Department of Transportation, the closure is planned to continue on Saturday night and Sunday night during the same timeframe (9PM-5AM).

During the same time, one of the westbound inside lanes of State Highway 225 will be closed from Center Street to Beltway 8.

The detour for eastbound traffic will be as follows:

Motorists traveling eastbound will exit and turn right onto the Beltway 8 frontage road, U-turn at Greenshadow, continue onto the Beltway 8 northbound frontage road and turn right onto State Highway 225.

02:04PM - ITC Press Release

LA PORTE, Texas; Thursday, March 22, 2019 – (UPDATE). As a precautionary measure, the U.S. Coast Guard has closed a portion of the Houston Ship Channel between Dow (Tucker Bayou) and the San Jacinto Monument to Crystal Bay in response to the breach of the tank farm secondary containment wall on the north side near Tank 80-7. We are coordinating with federal, state, and local officials to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We will provide updates as soon as they are made available. Please contact the PIO Support Team at 832.780.6739 at Intercontinental Terminals Company for additional information. This phone number is currently staffed around the clock. We remain committed to providing updated information as it becomes available. The latest news releases and air quality monitoring information can be found at www.iterm.com/news.

12:45PM City of Deer Park

The community is advised that at approximately 12:15PM, the dike wall at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park containing the product released during the recent fire event partially collapsed. 

As a result, ITC sent out a Shelter-in-Place notification to industrial neighbors and the San Jacinto Texas State Historic Site.

At this time, the City of Deer Park is not ordering a Shelter-in-Place for the city limits but will provide additional information as it becomes available.

12:00PM City of Deer Park

Mayor Jerry Mouton participated in a joint press conference with Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other entities Friday morning regarding the continued response and next steps at the ITC Deer Park site. According to Brent Weber, Incident Commander with ITC, the next step of the response at the ITC site since the fire has been extinguished is pumping product from the comprised tanks. The tanks impacted during the ITC fire are currently covered in a layer of foam, placed to prevent the emission of benzene vapors and other contaminants during the pumping process. During the press conference, Weber addressed efforts to be made on site to prevent the release of benzene or other contaminants while product is being pumped from the tanks, a process he estimated could take between eight and 12 hours. “We have a very structured plan right now to get the products out of every tank in that tank farm into a properly contained vessel,” Weber said. “As anything that upsets the foam layer could lead to the emission of materials from the tanks, we are ready and prepared to apply additional foam and maintain the layer on top of those areas.”

Monitoring air quality

Weber stated ITC would conduct a tiered system of air monitoring around the perimeter of the fire site throughout the pumping process. “We are going to do continuous [air] monitoring to ensure responders and people working the incident are in proper [personal protective equipment] and we keep them safe,” Weber said. Mayor Mouton reiterated that several agencies including ITC as well as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and third-party contractors are continuously monitoring air quality. During the press conference, EPA representative Adam Adams stated that his organization is conducting monitoring at the ITC Deer Park site, in the area between ITC and the City of Deer Park and inside the city limits.

Monitoring water quality

On Tuesday, TCEQ began water monitoring from Tucker Bayou to the Houston Ship Channel and at drainage outfalls near the facility. During the press conference, Adams verified that water sampling was conducted on Wednesday. ITC Public Information Officer Alice Richardson also verified that the U.S. Coast Guard in involved in monitoring water quality, as well. Adams indicated the first set of water quality results should be received by the end of the day today, March 22. The City of Deer Park completed voluntary testing of the City’s drinking water supply thorugh Envirodyne Laboratories, Incorporated this week. According to Nicholas Cook, Surface Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, the results were very positive and represented the expected outcome. “The tests revealed no evidence of benzene in the water,” Cook said. “The only volatile organic compounds (VOCs) detected were the total trihalomethanes at 14 ug (micrograms) per Liter, which is well below the maximum allowed 80 ug/Liter. Trihalomethanes are normally present in drinking water samples. “The tests also looked for tentatively identified compounds and none were detected.” Updates will be provided as additional information becomes available. Please monitor the City’s outlets including a webpage dedicated to the ITC fire and response, www.deerparktx.gov/itcfire.

City of Deer Park - Drinking Water Supply Test Results

The City of Deer Park has received documentation Thursday confirming the results of testing of the City of Deer Park’s drinking water supply. The testing was completed on a voluntary basis following the response to the fire incident at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park. 

Envirodyne Laboratories, Incorporated completed the testing on Wednesday, March 20 and provided the physical report on Thursday, March 21.

According to Nicholas Cook, Surface Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, the results were very positive and represented the expected outcome.

“The tests revealed no evidence of benzene in the water,” Cook said. “The only volatile organic compounds (VOCs) detected were the total trihalomethanes at 14 ug (micrograms) per Liter, which is well below the maximum allowed 80 ug/Liter. Trihalomethanes are normally present in drinking water samples.

“The tests also looked for tentatively identified compounds and none were detected.” 

In a joint press release with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Coast Guard and Harris County, the City provided information about ongoing efforts to assess water quality following the ITC incident. 

The full text of the release is provided below.

Joint News Release – Originally released March 21

Unified command working to assess water quality near ITC site

 Teams and contractors from the city of Deer Park, Harris County, TCEQ, EPA, and the U.S. Coast Guard are working together to evaluate impacts to Tucker Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel surrounding Intercontinental Terminals Co. in Deer Park, which recently dealt with several large fires in its chemical storage tanks.

 The city of Deer Park reports that run-off of foam and chemicals resulting from the fire response do not pose a threat to the quality of the city’s drinking water. Drinking water is provided to the city by the Coastal Water Authority which draws from the Trinity River. Water is stored in a reservoir located northeast of the Lynchburg Ferry. From there, it travels through a closed pipe system to Deer Park customers. Water in the municipal water system does not come into contact with the water impacted by the fire response. Furthermore, the public water system is designed to treat debris that has fallen, such as ash, that may have encountered untreated water stored at the drinking water plant. Treated water is contained within a pressurized distribution system. Laboratory testing of the city of Deer Park’s water revealed no evidence of benzene. The only volatile organic compounds detected were the total trihalomethanes at 14 micrograms per liter, which is well below the maximum allowed 80 micrograms per liter which is a disinfectant byproduct.

 The area north of Texas 225 drains toward the Houston Ship Channel, which is not used by any public water system in the Houston area as a source for drinking water. Deer Park residents who use wells north of Texas 225 should have their water tested before using. 

 Teams are looking out for and working to contain any chemicals that may be coming from the site, which include the industrial chemicals stored there and firefighting foam used to fight the fire and suppress vapors.

 The Coast Guard directed the placement of close to 3,000 feet of containment and sorbent boom at strategic locations along the facility’s drainage outfall—including Tucker and Buffalo bayous, and the Houston Ship Channel—to contain discharge caused by the overflow of firefighting water and foam from the facility’s containment area and an exclusionary boom has been placed around the Battleship Texas and the entrance to Santa Ana Bayou as a precautionary measure to prevent impact to these sensitive areas. If at any time, air or water sampling indicates a safety risk to operations on the Houston Ship Channel, the Captain of the Port will take immediate action to cease operations in the impacted area. Employees working at facilities along the Houston Ship Channel should follow safety instructions issued by their local and county officials.

 TCEQ began sampling water on Tuesday from Tucker Bayou to the Houston Ship Channel and at drainage outfalls adjacent to the facility. Collected samples were first submitted by TCEQ’s contractor to a certified water laboratory early Wednesday; however, results for certain compounds can take 24 hours while others can take as long as 72 hours, to be processed and finalized. EPA began collecting water samples in Tucker Bayou on March 20, and in Buffalo Bayou on March 21. 

 See City of Deer Park, Harris County, TCEQ’s ITC Fire Incident webpage, and EPA for updates concerning this response. 

City of Deer Park update – Friday morning

The City of Deer Park as well as entities including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Harris County HAZMAT are continually monitoring air quality in and around Deer Park. There is no Shelter-in-Place at this time.

Deer Park Independent School District has cancelled classes for today per their website, dpisd.org.

Physical and mental health resources

For health related questions, the “Ask a Nurse” hotline by Harris Health System is now open from 8AM to 8:30PM, seven days a week, at 713-634-1110. Nurses on the line will help with questions about signs and symptoms. 

Harris County Public Health wants to remind individuals that the situation may lead to strong feelings of stress or anxiety. If needed, contact the National Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746, which offers 24/7 emotional support.

Residents are also reminded that Harris County Public Health will hold a mobile health impact team event at the Jimmy Burke Activity Center (500 W. 13th Street) today from 2PM-7PM. Additional  information is available at facebook.com/HarrisCountyPublicHealth.

Thursday 21 March 2019

Air Monitoring Summary for March 21, 2019

07:00PM - City of Deer Park -

City of Deer Park update – Thursday evening

Residents are advised that both Deer Park Independent School District and La Porte Independent School District have cancelled classes for tomorrow, March 22.

Per DPISD.org, the decision to cancel school for Friday was made “out of extra caution for students and staff,” relaying that the shelter-in-place order in Deer Park was removed Thursday morning.

Harris County Public Health will continue their mobile health impact team event at the Jimmy Burke Activity Center (500 W. 13th Street) tomorrow, Friday. The event will be held from 2-7PM, and additional information is available at facebook.com/HarrisCountyPublicHealth

05:15PM - City of Deer Park -

Joint News Release 

Unified command working to assess water quality near ITC site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Thursday, March 21, 2019

Media Contacts:

City of Deer Park - Kristin Callahan - 281-709-8658

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality - Brian McGovern - Phone: 512-239-5003; Mobile: 512-839-1142

Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6 - Carmen Assunto - 214-665-2200

U.S. Coast Guard - Petty Officer Kelly Parker - 832-293-1293

Teams and contractors from the city of Deer Park, Harris County, TCEQ, EPA, and the U.S. Coast Guard are working together to evaluate impacts to Tucker Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel surrounding Intercontinental Terminals Co. in Deer Park, which recently dealt with several large fires in its chemical storage tanks.

The city of Deer Park reports that run-off of foam and chemicals resulting from the fire response do not pose a threat to the quality of the city’s drinking water. Drinking water is provided to the city by the Coastal Water Authority, which draws from the Trinity River. Water is stored in a reservoir located northeast of the Lynchburg Ferry. From there, it travels through a closed pipe system to Deer Park customers. Water in the municipal water system does not come into contact with the water impacted by the fire response. Furthermore, the public water system is designed to treat debris that has fallen, such as ash, that may have encountered untreated water stored at the drinking water plant. Treated water is contained within a pressurized distribution system. Laboratory testing of the city of Deer Park’s water revealed no evidence of benzene. The only volatile organic compounds detected were the total trihalomethanes at 14 micrograms per liter, which is well below the maximum allowed 80 micrograms per liter which is a disinfectant byproduct.

The area north of Texas 225 drains toward the Houston Ship Channel, which is not used by any public water system in the Houston area as a source for drinking water. Deer Park residents who use wells north of Texas 225 should have their water tested before using.

Teams are looking out for and working to contain any chemicals that may be coming from the site, which include the industrial chemicals stored there and firefighting foam used to fight the fire and suppress vapors.

The Coast Guard directed the placement of close to 3,000 feet of containment and sorbent boom at strategic locations along the facility’s drainage outfall—including Tucker and Buffalo bayous, and the Houston Ship Channel—to contain discharge caused by the overflow of firefighting water and foam from the facility’s containment area and an exclusionary boom has been placed around the Battleship Texas and the entrance to Santa Ana Bayou as a precautionary measure to prevent impact to these sensitive areas. If at any time, air or water sampling indicates a safety risk to operations on the Houston Ship Channel, the Captain of the Port will take immediate action to cease operations in the impacted area. Employees working at facilities along the Houston Ship Channel should follow safety instructions issued by their local and county officials.

TCEQ began sampling water on Tuesday from Tucker Bayou to the Houston Ship Channel and at drainage outfalls adjacent to the facility. Collected samples were first submitted by TCEQ’s contractor to a certified water laboratory early Wednesday; however, results for certain compounds can take 24 hours while others can take as long as 72 hours, to be processed and finalized. EPA began collecting water samples in Tucker Bayou on March 20, and in Buffalo Bayou on March 21.

See city of Deer Park, Harris County, TCEQ’s ITC Fire Incident webpage, and EPA for updates concerning this response.

11:40AM - City of Deer Park

After receiving consistent air quality readings below the actionable limit, the City of Deer Park is officially lifting its Shelter-in-Place order as of 11:40AM.

Emergency Services Director Robert Hemminger said the sustained period of improved readings combined with the confirmation of the public health official - Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health - have afforded the City the ability to lift the Shelter in Place with confidence.

“According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Harris County HAZMAT teams and a private contractor on-site at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park site, air quality readings are improving, and over the last few hours, they have been significantly reduced,” Hemminger said. “This information, combined with the assurance of Harris County Public Health, allows us to meet our internal criteria necessary to lift our Shelter-in-Place.”

As of this update, State Highway 225 will also be re-opened from Beltway 8 to Highway 146. City crews will be deployed to remove all street barricades placed this morning and re-open the roadways.

Even after the Shelter-in-Place is lifted, the entities monitoring air quality in the area will continue to do so until the conclusion of the incident. The City will provide updates as they become available.

All City of Deer Park facilities will re-open to the public at 1PM. Deer Park Municipal Court customers who were scheduled for court today are encouraged to call 281-478-7238 to reschedule their appearances.

9:45AM - City of Deer Park -

Please see map below which illustrates current street closures in Deer Park.

ITC Road Barricades 03-21-2019

9:45AM - City of Deer Park -

City of Deer Park update

As the Shelter-in-Place for Deer Park continues, residents are reminded that 9-1-1 is for emergency use only (EMS/ambulance needed for life-threatening illness/emergency police response), and that minor illness complaints be referred to primary physicians.

See below regarding the newly-created “Ask a Nurse” hotline for minor illness complaints.

Harris County press conference

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia and other Houston area entities held a press conference Thursday morning to address community health concerns following the International Terminals Company (ITC) fire response.

With the City of Deer Park under a Shelter-in-Place order and surrounding communities monitoring air quality for elevated contaminant levels, Judge Hidalgo and other leaders emphasized the need for Deer Park residents to heed the Shelter-in-Place, monitor any health-related concerns and stay informed.

Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health, provided information regarding a new resource for the community, the “Ask a Nurse” hotline.

The hotline, 713-634-1110, will be active from 8AM-8:30PM and will provide information to the community regarding health concerns as a result of this incident.

“We are providing updates in real time through ReadyHarris.org, and each city has its own notification system in place,” Hidalgo said. “We want to remind the people of Deer Park to monitor their symptoms, listen to local officials, monitor the media and utilize the ‘Ask a Nurse’ hotline.”

 Hidalgo emphasized that Harris County HAZMAT, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and additional agencies are working together to continually monitor air quality, both near the ITC site and throughout the Houston area.

Hidalgo also noted that the U.S. Coast Guard as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are working to assess the water in the Houston Ship Channel, and that Harris County has requested those results be made available as soon as possible.

Also during the press conference, Laurie Christensen with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, addressed ongoing response at the ITC Deer Park site.

Christensen indicated responders on scene are working to continually cover the tanks involved in the incident with foam to prevent vapors from escaping.

7:40AM - City of Deer Park

As the City of Deer Park is currently under a Shelter-in-Place, residents and drivers in the area are advised that the Deer Park Police Department has placed barricades blocking all northbound traffic from Pasadena Boulevard intersections, including but not limited to: Center Street, East Boulevard, Georgia, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Luella.

As well, northbound traffic from Spencer Highway is blocked at intersections including East Boulevard, East Meadows, Luella, College Park, Academy, Center Street, Durant and Glenwood.

A barricade has also been placed at the intersection of Pasadena Boulevard and Louisiana to prevent eastbound traffic on Pasadena and northbound traffic on Louisiana.

Barricades have also been placed on Old Underwood at X Street and on South Battleground/Independence Parkway.

State Highway 225 remains closed between Beltway 8 and Highway 146.

Please continue to monitor City social media outlets, www.deerparktx.gov/itcfire and http://readyharris.org/Deer-Park-Fire for updates.

6:45AM - City of Deer Park

The City of Deer Park remains under Shelter-in-Place orders following reports of elevated benzene levels in the area surrounding the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park site.

In accordance with the Shelter-in-Place, all City facilities will have delayed opening until 10AM – this will be updated as additional information becomes available.

ITC released an update at approximately 6:20AM indicating that “onsite responders are reporting increased levels of benzene. These levels are below those that represent an immediate risk. ITC responders are working actively to reduce the cause that may be responsible for the elevated readings.”

 Residents are encouraged to visit http://readyharris.org/Deer-Park-Fire for current information regarding air quality and steps to take to protect your family and homes.

5:45AM - City of Deer Park

Update: The State Highway 225 closure has been extended to Highway 146. The full closure now extends from Beltway 8 to Highway 146.

05:10AM - City of Deer Park

Residents are advised that Deer Park Independent School District has cancelled school for today, March 21, in light of the Shelter-in-Place order.

 DPISD issued an email message stating, "The City of Deer Park has called a shelter in place this morning due to unfavorable air quality conditions based on current monitoring results in parts of the District. Out of an abundance of caution, Deer Park ISD is canceling school today out of concern for the safety of our students and employees."

 Please stay tuned to City outlets for updates.

04:49AM - City of Deer Park

A Shelter-in-Place has been issued for the City of Deer Park following reports of action levels of benzene or other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within city limits. State Highway 225 is also being closed at this time from Beltway 8 to Miller Cut-Off Road. 

Per an E-Notify message from Intercontinental Terminals Company, the specific area impacted is south of Tidal Road, east of Beltway 8, west of Underwood Road and north of Pasadena Boulevard.

Residents are advised to remain indoors and to close all doors, windows and other sources of outside air. Turn off air conditioning or heating systems and close the fireplace damper to keep chemical vapors from entering.  

Please continue to monitor City outlets for updated information.

Full Shelter-in-Place instructions

Per the City’s website, http://www.deerparktx.gov/1722/Shelter-In-Place, instructions for Shelter-in-Place are as follows:

1. Go Inside Immediately: Seek the nearest enclosed structure, whether it's a house, business, garage or vehicle.  If you know of any unattended child in your neighborhood, call them and tell them to remain indoors.  Keep any pets inside also.  Gather emergency supplies like a portable radio, flashlight and extra batteries.

2. Close all doors, windows and other sources of outside air.  Turn off air conditioning or heating systems and close the fireplace damper to keep chemical vapors from entering.  Ceiling fans or rotary fans inside the building can be safely used to keep cool.

Cover any gaps, holes or cracks with wet towels or sheets to prevent vapors from entering your home. 

If you have trouble breathing, contact 9-1-1.


Wednesday 20 March 2019

06:15PM - City of Deer Park -

Visit the Harris County Public Health Facebook page for information on a mobile health team impact event happening now at the Jimmy Burke Activity Center (500 W. 13th Street). The event will continue tomorrow (Thursday) from 2-7PM and Friday from 2-7PM.

mobile health team impact event

06:00PM - City of Deer Park -

The City of Deer Park received confirmation Wednesday of a small flare-up at the site of the Intercontinental Terminals Company fire incident. 

According to Emergency Services Director Robert Hemminger, who spoke with first responders on scene, the flare-up was contained within approximately thirty seconds using staged firefighting equipment.

Hemminger indicated that in fire incidents of this scale, small flare-ups are expected and first responders plan to address these issues as they occur.


05:30PM - City of Deer Park -

On Wednesday at approximately 4:30PM, Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton participated in a joint press conference with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia and other Houston area entities. Judge Hidalgo praised the work not only of the first responders involved but also the work being done to monitor air quality and safeguard the health of the community.

“The weather has worked in our favor, the plume is pretty much out of the way and the fire is out,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said. “This has greatly reduced the danger to our community. We are still monitoring air quality, and we are using very conservative estimates to determine the threshold of dangerous levels of air quality.”

Mayor Mouton once again praised all organizations and volunteers who were involved with the response.

“I don’t think anyone here thought this incident was going to end in such a rapid manner,” Mayor Mouton said. “I’m very proud to stand here as Mayor and recognize all of the officials and volunteers who waited in line to take their turn to fight for our community and protect it. Today, we are Deer Park strong.”

Air Monitoring:

Air monitoring is continuing throughout Houston and in Deer Park. City officials have been in communication with TCEQ on Wednesday, who verified their air quality monitoring in Deer Park is not showing contaminant levels in excess of or nearing the maximum allowable standards.

TCEQ is actively monitoring the ITC response and has a dedicated page on their website with air monitoring data for the area, available at https://www.tceq.texas.gov/response/itc-terminal-fire-update.

The City has created a dedicated webpage – www.deerparktx.gov/itcfire - which citizens may utilize to see press releases, City updates, air quality reports from ITC as well as state entities including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and more.

The page includes an updated air monitoring summary provided by Intercontinental Terminal Company on Wednesday afternoon.

Claim Information:

In a previous press release, ITC provided the following information:

"Claims have arisen as a result of the Sunday morning incident. If you believe you have suffered damage or loss as a result of the incident, you can go to http://itcclaims.com, download and fill out the appropriate claim form, and submit it with supporting documents using the following email address : incidents31719@itcclaims.com, or by mail to the following address:

ITC Claims

March 17, 2019 Incident

P.O. Box 698

Deer Park, Texas, 77536

Businesses and residents can also call the ITCCares telephone hotline at 346-263-9766. Please note that there are separate claim forms for businesses and individuals."

Per DPISD.org, all Deer Park Independent School District schools and facilities will return to regular schedule tomorrow, March 21.

5:15PM - Per ITC

Deer-Park-Tank-Fire-Air-Monitoring-Summary-2019-03-20


1:40PM - City of Deer Park

City of Deer Park Update – Wednesday, March 20

Continued air monitoring

Air monitoring continues, and readings are currently well below hazardous levels at the time of this update. The EPA Region 6 representative noted that their readings, in addition to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Harris County, and Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) readings, have not detected any hazardous levels of concentration.

City officials have been in communication with TCEQ on Wednesday, who verified their air quality monitoring in Deer Park is not showing benzene levels in excess of or nearing the maximum allowable standards.

However, reports have indicated that Shell Deer Park - which is located north of the city limits - has experienced intermittent elevated benzene readings this morning. While the site is outside city limits, the City has further focused our mobile air monitoring on that area and continues to obtain readings of normal levels.

TCEQ is actively monitoring the ITC response and has a dedicated page on their website with air monitoring data for the area, available at https://www.tceq.texas.gov/response/itc-terminal-fire-update.

According to Deer Park’s Emergency Services Director Robert Hemminger, the City continues to have air monitoring conducted by a private contractor.

“The City remains prepared to take immediate action to warn the public if air monitoring results shift to indicate a need, although current readings throughout Deer Park have given us no reason to believe this will be necessary,” he said. “We will continue our air monitoring until the conclusion of this incident.”

ITC update

On Wednesday morning, Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) gave a press conference to provide updated information on the extinguished fire at their Deer Park facility.

During the press conference, Alice Richardson, ITC Public Information Officer, stated that the fire is still extinguished, and foam is being dispersed on the tanks to ensure that they do not reignite.

Richardson also discussed how ITC plans to investigate the cause of the fire.

“The cause of the fire is still unknown, but as soon as it is safe to get our personnel in the tank farm, we will begin a root cause investigation,” said Richardson. “We will implement any preventative measures that are identified.”

ITC is working to remove the remaining material out of the tanks safely. According to a representative from EPA Region 6, there is no potential threat to the public or the environment because of the incident itself.

Claims to ITC

In a previous press release, ITC provided the following information:

"Claims have arisen as a result of the Sunday morning incident. If you believe you have suffered damage or loss as a result of the incident, you can go to http://itcclaims.com, download and fill out the appropriate claim form, and submit it with supporting documents using the following email address : incidents31719@itcclaims.com, or by mail to the following address:

ITC Claims

March 17, 2019 Incident

P.O. Box 698

Deer Park, Texas, 77536

Businesses and residents can also call the ITCCares telephone hotline at 346-263-9766. Please note that there are separate claim forms for businesses and individuals."

The City has created a dedicated webpage – www.deerparktx.gov/itcfire - which citizens may utilize to see press releases, City updates, air quality reports from ITC as well as state entities including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and more.


06:00AM - City of Deer Park

As confirmed by the most recent press release from Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC), the fire at their Deer Park facility was officially extinguished as of 3AM today. The release states, "As of 3AM today, the firefighting crews on the scene of the ITC Tank Farm Fire are reporting that all tank fires have been extinguished. Crews continue to spray foam and water on the tanks to facilitate cooling and prevent reigniting of the remaining material." Please note: Air monitoring continues, and as of this update, ITC has indicated readings are currently "well below hazardous levels." As stated in the release, although all fires have been extinguished at this time, steam and smoke may still be visible from the area and the possibility for reigniting still exists. ITC will hold its next media briefing at 10AM.

04:00AM

ITC Press Release

Tuesday 19 March 2019

10:15PM - City of Deer Park

 Intercontinental Terminals Company released a statement Tuesday evening indicating that four of the 15 tanks at their Deer Park facility were experiencing various levels of fire. According to the release, firefighters continued to apply foam and water to tanks 80-2, 80-3, 80-5 and 80-14. As stated in the release, “Successful firefighting efforts for previously burning tanks has allowed resources, including additional third-party and partner-provided resources, to be concentrated on offensively extinguishing other tanks. Air monitoring continues and, as of this update, readings remain below action levels.” ITC indicated their next press briefing would be held on Wednesday morning at 10AM, and additional updates will be provided as more information becomes available. Residents are also advised that school is canceled for tomorrow, March 20, for all Deer Park ISD campuses. According to a message posted to dpisd.org, “After-school activities are also canceled with the exception of selected out-of-District games.  In those cases, coaches will contact players directly.” The site indicated that School was being cancelled only for March 20, and that decisions regarding additional closures would be made on a day-to-day basis. La Porte ISD also announced a closure for Wednesday, March 20 via their website, lpisd.org. The site indicated that the closure includes all offices and campuses, and employees should not report to work.

09:45PM

ITC Press Release

07:40PM - City of Deer Park

Mayor Jerry Mouton participated in a joint press conference Tuesday afternoon with Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) to provide an update on the response to the fire at ITC Deer Park. According to an update from ITC provided late Tuesday afternoon, four tanks of the 15 in the affected portion of the ITC site are currently on fire. Alice Richardson, ITC Public Information Officer, indicated that first responders on scene have continued to work in close partnership to prevent the spread of the fire and thanked all involved agencies for their support. “We continue to fight the fire with foam and water, and to bring in the resources needed to get the job done,” said Richardson. “Our specialty firefighting team from Louisiana is here and in place, and we will continue to bring in the resources required to get the job done.” The graphic below illustrates the location and number of each of the 15 tanks at the incident site. ITC representatives indicated that tanks 80-2, 80-3, 80-5 and 80-6, were on fire as of Tuesday afternoon, while tanks 80-1, 80-4, 80-7, 80-8, 80-9, 80-10, 80-11, 80-12, 80-13, 80-14 and 80-15 were not on fire. Ray Russell - CIMA Specialist with Incident Command – indicated that firefighters battling the blaze have shifted from a defensive to an offensive approach. “We have made an attack on tanks 80-8 and 80-7,” Russell said. “By tomorrow morning, will know a lot better how bad this situation is and how long it will last.” Richardson addressed a comment made during an earlier press conference related to water pressure, admitting that ITC no longer believed an equipment malfunction was to blame for a loss in pressure overnight. According to Nicholas Cook, Surface Water Treatment Plant Supervisor with the City of Deer Park, the loss of pressure was not caused by – and had no relation to – the municipal water system. “The City water supply is not the supply being used to fight the fire, and the City water system has not had pressure issues during these events,” Cook said.

Monitoring air quality

The press conference centered on the multiple agencies conducting air monitoring in and around the incident, utilizing both fixed sites maintained by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and mobile air monitoring sites. Mayor Mouton reiterated that – based on all of the information available – current air monitoring results are now and have consistently indicated that air quality is satisfactory and below levels that would represent a public health concern. The group acknowledged the combined efforts of TCEQ, Harris County Pollution Control, third-party air monitoring entity Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, LLC (CTEH) and ITC to provide data and make it available to the public.

Visit www.deerparktx.gov/itcfire, a dedicated page on the City of Deer Park website with continuously updated information on the incident.

04:00PM 

ITC Press Release

02:55PM - City of Deer Park

Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton participated in a joint press conference with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia and other Houston area entities Tuesday afternoon. During the conference, the group provided an update on the response to the fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park site, addressed weather patterns associated with the movement of the plume coming from the fire as well as health concerns for residents in the region. “I want to start by once again commending all of first responders involved in this response,” Mayor Mouton said. “Our partners with Channel Industries Mutual Aid (CIMA), Harris County and the many responding entities involved are doing everything possible to make sure this evolving incident is managed as efficiently as possible.” Addressing concerns regarding the spread of the fire, Mayor Mouton answered questions regarding the scope of the blaze, assuring those present that the fire was being contained within the tank farm walls. Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke regarding the plume of smoke growing from the fire incident, stating that air quality readings and available information indicated that residents of Houston were not at risk from the smoke. “I know the dark smoke does seem ominous, but we are monitoring the situation closely, and at this point, it does not appear to be a danger to the people of Houston,” he said. Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health, also addressed health concerns associated with the plume and encouraged special populations suffering from medical conditions such asthma to be mindful of their symptoms and to seek medical care if needed. Stay tuned to the City of Deer Park’s social media outlets and City website, www.deerparktx.gov, for updates.

12:17PM - City of Deer Park 

As of Tuesday morning, March 19, the City has several updates regarding the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) fire response. The situation continues to evolve and updated information will be provided periodically. In response to questions and community concerns regarding possible evacuations, the City would like to assure the community that NO evacuations of the City of Deer Park have been ordered at this time.
As well, no new Shelter-in-Place orders have been issued for the City of Deer Park. All air quality reports the City has received indicate that the air quality is favorable, and monitoring is being conducted continually.
The City has created a dedicated webpage – www.deerparktx.gov/itcfire - which citizens may utilize to get up-to-date press releases, City updates, air quality reports from ITC as well as state entities including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and more.
ITC Press Conference – Tuesday morning
On Tuesday morning, ITC gave a press conference to provide updated information on the fire at the Deer Park facility. Following the press conference, ITC sent out an updated press release, as well.
According to a representative of ITC, as of 11:30AM, at least six tanks (80-2, 80-3, 80-5, 80-6, 80-8 and 80-11) were still on fire as of Tuesday morning, with others (80-9 and 80-11) having collapsed during the firefighting process. Reports received earlier in the morning also indicated that two more tanks, 80-14 and 80-15, were also on fire.
As stated in the press release, “Fire intensified overnight on Monday [March 18] due to a temporary loss of water pressure and water resources between the hours of 4PM and 10PM. The loss of water pressure was due to the malfunction of two fireboat pumps that were providing water to firefighters operating on scene. Water pressure and water resources have been restored and emergency responders continue working on suppressing the fire.”
Alice Richardson, ITC Public Information Officer, said emergency responders would continue to work with foam and water to control and contain the fire, and that additional resources, including specialty third-party firefighting teams, had arrived on site.
“Regarding air quality, all detections recorded by CTEH were below levels that would represent a public health concern. Individuals with health concerns should contact their health care professionals,” she said. “We continue to take precautions to further reduce the risk of explosion. All personnel are accounted for and there have been no serious injuries reported as a result of this incident.”
In a previous press release, ITC provided the following information:
"Claims have arisen as a result of the Sunday morning incident. If you believe you have suffered damage or loss as a result of the incident, you can go to http://itcclaims.com, download and fill out the appropriate claim form, and submit it with supporting documents using the following email address : incidents31719@itcclaims.com, or by mail to the following address:
ITC Claims
March 17, 2019 Incident
P.O. Box 698
Deer Park, Texas, 77536
Businesses and residents can also call the ITCCares telephone hotline at 346-263-9766. Please note that there are separate claim forms for businesses and individuals."
City of Deer Park facilities, operations and services are active and continue as normal.

11:30AM - City of Deer Park

In response to questions and community concerns regarding possible evacuations, the City would like to assure the community that NO evacuations of the City of Deer Park have been ordered at this time.

As well, no new Shelter-in-Place orders have been issued for the City of Deer Park.

Please monitor City information outlets including social media, the City website - www.deerparktx.gov - and DPTV for future updates.

11:21AM - City of Deer Park

In response to questions and community concerns regarding possible evacuations, the City would like to assure the community that NO evacuations of the City of Deer Park have been ordered at this time. As well, no new Shelter-in-Place orders have been issued for the City of Deer Park. Please monitor City information outlets including social media, the City website - www.deerparktx.gov - and DPTV for future updates.

10:00AM 

ITC Press Release

07:00AM - City of Deer Park

Please see the image below of the latest Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) press release concerning the fire at ITC Deer Park. In addition to the press release below, ITC provided additional information late last night regarding the establishment of a claims hotline and website for businesses and individuals following the fire incident. If you believe you have suffered damage or loss as a result of the incident, you can go to http://itcclaims.com, download and fill out the appropriate claim form, and submit it with supporting documents using the following email address: incidents31719@itcclaims.com, or by mail to the following address:

ITC Claims

March 17, 2019 Incident

P.O. Box 698

Deer Park, Texas 77536

Businesses and residents can also call the ITCCares telephone hotline at (346) 263-9766. Finally, please be advised that the following message has been posted on the Deer Park Independent School District website, www.dpisd.org: "All Deer Park ISD schools and facilities will return to our regular schedule tomorrow, March 19, for students and employees.  However, we are restricting outside activities for the duration of the incident.  Our Athletics Department is also working to reschedule outdoor home games to another date or location.  Coaches will contact players directly."

02:30AM 

ITC Press Release

Monday 18 March 2019

Air Quality Report

11:33PM 

ITC Press Release

11:30PM - City of Deer Park

The City of Deer Park received the following press release from International Terminals Company (ITC) late Monday night: ITC has established a claims hotline and website for businesses and individuals following the fire incident at its terminal in Deer Park. Claims have arisen as a result of the Sunday morning incident. If you believe you have suffered damage or loss as a result of the incident, you can go to http://itcclaims.com, download and fill out the appropriate claim form, and submit it with supporting documents using the following email address: incidents31719@itcclaims.com, or by mail to the following address:

ITC Claims

March 17, 2019 Incident

P.O. Box 698

Deer Park, Texas  77536

Businesses and residents can also call the ITCCares telephone hotline at (346) 263-9766. Please note that there are separate claim forms for businesses and individuals. Earlier today, ITC released to the public an environmental report issued by the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, LLC (CTEH). According to the report, all air quality detections recorded by the CTEH were below levels that would represent a public health concern. Emergency responders continue working on suppressing the fire and continue to work with foam and water to control and prevent the fire from spreading. We continue to take precautions to further reduce the risk of explosion. All personnel are accounted for and there have been no injuries reported as a result of this incident. ITC officials continue to work closely with first responders to contain the fire and to be transparent with the community regarding this incident. The safety and well-being of the surrounding communities, our employees, our first responders, and the environment remain our top priorities. We will provide additional updates as more information becomes available. ITC is continuing coordinating its response with representatives of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Coast Guard, Harris County and other Federal, State, and local agencies. Please contact PIO Support Team at (832) 780-6739 at Intercontinental Terminals Company for additional information. The original press release is available at: https://www.deerparktx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/7250/ITC-Media-Release-Statement-8. 

05:18PM 

ITC Press Release

05:15PM - City of Deer Park

While the fire continues at International Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park, representatives of the company have indicated that first responders are making headway to extinguish the flames. In a press conference given at approximately 4PM, ITC Public Information Officer Alice Richardson indicated that six tanks remain on fire at the Deer Park site and that first responders are making “strong headway.” “Emergency responders continue to work with foam and water to control and prevent the fire from spreading,” Richardson said. “We continue to take precautions to further reduce the risk of explosion.” During the press conference, ITC also released reporting issued by the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH), a third-party contractor hired to monitor air quality. “According to the air quality [report], all detections recorded by CTEH were below levels that would represent a public health concern,” Richardson said. “ITC officials continue to work closely with first responders to contain the fire and to be transparent with the community regarding this incident.” The environmental reporting compiled by CTEH is available at https://www.deerparktx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/7248/Air-Monitoring-Summary-Deer-Park-Tank-Fire-Air-Monitoring-Summary-2019-03-18-0800. Mayor Jerry Mouton participated in a press conference with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, and the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management earlier on Monday. “While I was with the County representatives, we discussed air quality monitoring being conducted throughout the region,” Mouton said. “Based on current information, no one is seeing any reports that are out of the ordinary at this time. “Our local leadership is committed to continually monitoring to ensure the public’s safety and well-being.” Mayor Mouton also received confirmation Monday afternoon that Deer Park Independent School District campuses will re-open Tuesday morning, provided no major changes take place at the ITC incident site.

03:15PM - City of Deer Park

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo with the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HCOHSEM), along with Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton and other regional officials, held a press conference this afternoon to provide an update on the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) fire and response. The press conference, which focused on air quality and health concerns following the incident, provided citizens with multiple sources to utilize going forward. Following an update from Judge Hidalgo, Bob Allen – Director of Harris County Pollution Control – addressed the various types of air monitoring being conducted in and around the incident site. “We have 46 fixed sites monitoring air quality that are maintained by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Harris County Pollution Control, and the City of Houston, and those sites continually measure air quality,” he said. Allen also outlined mobile air monitoring resources, which he said were activated Sunday following the ITC incident. To access the above referenced air quality reports, visit https://www.tceq.texas.gov/cgi-bin/compliance/monops/select_curlev.pl?user_param=88502. During the conference, Allen also indicated that residents experiencing health concerns could reach out to Harris County Pollution Control at 713-920-2831. Weather forecast Jeff Linder, Meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District, also spoke to address the weather forecast for Monday evening and possible impacts to the plume of smoke rising from the incident site. Linder indicated the plume is currently hovering at approximately 3,000 to 4,000 feet above ground level, and officials will continue to monitor wind direction and speed that could impact the height of the plume. Mayor Jerry Mouton also participated in the press conference, where he applauded all of the first responders assisting at ITC as well as the partnership with Harris County. “We have taken a lot of precautions to make sure we keep public safety our number one priority,” Mayor Mouton said. “Given that this is a dangerous and still active event, I feel like everything that can be done is being done.”

11:30AM - City of Deer Park

The fire at the International Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park facility continues to burn. According to information provided by ITC during a 10:30AM press conference, the fire had been confined to seven tanks as of Monday morning. ITC representatives said emergency responders including assistance from Channel Industry Mutual Aid (CIMA) are continuing to fight the fire using foam pumpers and foam aerials. “ITC officials are working closely with CIMA and other first responders to contain the fire,” said Alice Richardson, ITC Public Information Officer. “The risk of explosion is minimal, and we are continuing to take precautions to reduce that risk.” David Wascome, ITC Senior Vice President of Operations, said that both ITC and Harris County are continuing to monitor air quality in and around the area. “We are monitoring air quality in several locations, and we are still within normal range,” Wascome said. Richardson indicated that air monitoring results are being provided to Harris County Office of Emergency Management as well as local Emergency Operations Centers. Ray Russell, CIMA Specialist with Incident Command, provided additional information about the methods being used at the scene to contain the fire to the seven tanks currently impacted. The tanks currently impacted contain Naphtha, Xylene, GBS (gas blend stock) and lubricant oil. ITC has indicated that one of the impacted tanks is empty. “We have several foam engines and foam aerials that we’re currently using, and we’ve had pretty good success controlling fire and keeping it off the rest of the tanks,” Russell said. “[This response] will likely be for two days.” Deer Park area updates The Shelter-in-Place for the City of Deer Park was officially lifted as of Monday morning and remains lifted at this time. The latest air monitoring results, provided to the City of Deer Park on Monday morning from a private air monitoring contractor, indicated that no detections during the latest reporting period exceeded recommended action levels. All readings to date, including the latest report, indicated that air readings were favorable. Both Deer Park Independent School District and La Porte Independent School District have closed all campuses today, March 18.

11:28AM 

ITC Press Release

08:40AM - City of Deer Park

City facilities and services, including trash pick-up, will operate as usual today, March 18. For more information, visit the City’s website, www.deerparktx.org, or call City Hall at 281-479-2394. 

06:03AM 

ITC Press Release

06:15AM - City of Deer Park

As of 5:30AM, the City of Deer Park has received confirmation that no air quality readings conducted in response to the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) incident have exceeded action levels. In light of this information, the City has made the decision to lift the Shelter-in-Place order and to re-open State Highway 225 with the public. Portions of Independence Parkway will remain closed until further notice. The City has just received notification that all Deer Park Independent School District campuses will be closed today, March 18. Emergency Services Director Robert Hemminger indicated that this is still a dynamic incident and air monitoring will continue. Residents are encouraged to monitor City social media for updates.

06:00AM - City of Deer Park

As of 5:30AM, the City of Deer Park has received confirmation that no air quality readings conducted in response to the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) incident have exceeded action levels. In light of this information, the City has made the decision to lift the Shelter-in-Place order and to re-open State Highway 225 with the public. Portions of Independence Parkway will remain closed until further notice. The City has just received notification that all Deer Park Independent School District campuses will be closed today, March 18. Emergency Services Director Robert Hemminger indicated that this is still a dynamic incident and air monitoring will continue. Residents are encouraged to monitor City social media for updates.

01:45AM 

ITC Press Release

Sunday 17 March 2019

09:00PM - City of Deer Park

As of 8PM, the incident at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park is ongoing, now involving multiple chemical storage tanks at the site. As the response continues, City officials are working closely with ITC as well as Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and associated County departments to monitor air quality and weather conditions surrounding the incident. “At this time, the City of Deer Park is still under a Shelter in Place order, but air monitoring provided through Harris County indicate that all readings are favorable,” City Manager Jay Stokes said. “The City is getting weather updates from multiple entities, and we have hired an air monitoring company to assist us throughout the evening. If readings remain favorable, we’ll look to lift the Shelter in Place and re-open State Highway 225 in the early morning hours of Monday morning. “We are also working closely with the Deer Park Independent School District, and they will determine whether schools will be open tomorrow, March 18, based on whether or not the Shelter in Place is lifted.” Deer Park Police Chief Greg Grigg said residents are encouraged to monitor the City’s social media outlets throughout the night for updates.  “This is a dynamic situation that is ongoing, but we are doing our due diligence to monitor the air and make sure our citizens are safe,” Grigg said. Mayor Jerry Mouton wished to express his thanks to all first responders who have contributed to this response. "I would like to commend our first responders including the Deer Park Volunteer Fire Department and the Deer Park Police Department for their efforts during Sunday's response," Mouton said. "It is due to their quick response, as well as our strong partnerships with first responder organizations in Harris County, that we are able to effectively manage major incidents. "We appreciate our residents' patience and fortitude during this response period." Updates will be added to the City website – www.deerparktx.gov - throughout the evening.

08:30PM - City of Deer Park

As of 8PM, the incident at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park is ongoing, now involving multiple chemical storage tanks at the site. As the response continues, City officials are working closely with ITC as well as Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and associated County departments to monitor air quality and weather conditions surrounding the incident. “At this time, the City of Deer Park is still under a Shelter in Place order, but air monitoring provided through Harris County indicate that all readings are favorable,” City Manager Jay Stokes said. “The City is getting weather updates from multiple entities, and we have hired an air monitoring company to assist us throughout the evening. If readings remain favorable, we’ll look to lift the Shelter in Place and re-open State Highway 225 in the early morning hours of Monday morning. “We are also working closely with the Deer Park Independent School District, and they will determine whether schools will be open tomorrow, March 18, based on whether or not the Shelter in Place is lifted.” Deer Park Police Chief Greg Grigg said residents are encouraged to monitor the City’s social media outlets throughout the night for updates. “This is a dynamic situation that is ongoing, but we are doing our due diligence to monitor the air and make sure our citizens are safe,” Grigg said. Updates will be added to the City website – www.deerparktx.gov - throughout the evening.

08:28PM

ITC Press Release

04:31PM 

ITC Press Release

04:30PM - City of Deer Park

At approximately 3:30PM, Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) released a statement regarding a fire at 1943 Independence Parkway South. According to the press release, the chemical being burned is Naphtha, which is a component of gasoline. Air monitoring is being completed by authorities as well as ITC. Harris County Pollution and Harris County HAZMAT are evaluating the air quality with results pending. ITC is working with local first responders to contain the fire and ensure it does not spread. While an evacuation has not been ordered at this time, the City of Deer Park remains under a shelter in place and residents are encouraged to stay indoors. Drivers are advised that State Highway 225 from Beltway 8 to Independence Parkway remains closed.

01:25PM

ITC Press Release

01:20PM

Due to an incident at a chemical facility, State Highway 225 from Beltway 8 to Independence Parkway is closed to all traffic. This closure includes all access points including Center Street.

11:36AM

Deer Park Office of Emergency Management issuing a shelter in place for Deer Park in all locations north of P Street. Seek shelter immediately.

11:21AM

Deer Park Office of Emergency Management issuing a shelter in place for Deer Park. Seek shelter immediately.