Five environmental criminal charges filed against ITC

The Harris County District Attorney's Office has filed five environmental criminal charges Monday against Intercontinental Terminals Company following the fire at its Deer Park refinery on March 17.

"People living in Deer Park and the other neighboring residential areas near ITC’s plant deserve protection too," said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg in a statement released on Monday.  "When public health is at risk, it’s a public safety concern.”

The Environmental Crimes Division’s review of the evidence has determined that water pollution in Tucker Bayou was at criminal levels from March 17 until March 21, establishing probable cause to believe that the company should be criminally charged for each day it violated the law.

"The discharge from the ITC fire into Tucker Bayou is a clear water pollution case,” said Environmental Crimes Division Chief prosecutor Alex Forrest. "We are looking forward to reviewing the reports of other local and federal agencies, as they complete their investigations, so that we can determine if other charges will follow."

ITC could face a fine of up to $100,000 per each of the five charges filed.