DEER PARK, Texas (FOX 26) - Multiple agencies continue to monitor the air quality at the Intercontinental Terminals Company Deer Park facility as crews work to move pyrolysis gasoline from a tank damaged during the fire.
On Thursday, concern over elevated benzene levels detected near the ITC facility prompted a shelter in place in Deer Park and Galena Park, but no shelter-in-place orders are currently in effect. ITC says readings on Friday morning remain below action levels.
The company says now that the fire is extinguished, they are using a pump to remove the pygas from one of the tanks. ITC says it may take between eight to 12 hours to remove the estimated 20,000 barrels of product that's left.
Officials say there is potential for the foam blanketing the product to be disturbed during this process, so they are closely monitoring air quality readings in the adjacent area.
"There is a possibility of a release of vapors during the pumping because of the agitation and you possibly losing the foam layer," Brent Weber with ITC said. "The foam does help suppress the vapors. So as we move the material, we'll make sure we keep a nice foam layer, but there is an elevated risk of benzene emissions during this time."
ITC says they will immediately notify officials and regulatory agencies and take appropriate response actions if there are any elevated levels.
ITC says, "No serious injuries have been reported because of the incident. We will continue to prioritize the safety of our surrounding community, our employees, and the environment."
Anyone with health concerns they believe may be related to the incident is encouraged to contact their health care provider or Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.