The ITC Fire, are there enough regulations to keep the public safe - What's Your Point?

This week’s panel: Nyanza Davis Moore - Democratic Political Commentator Attorney, Bob Price – Associate Editor of Breitbart Texas ,  Antonio Diaz- writer, educator and radio host,  Jessica Colon - Republican strategist, Keir Murray – Democratic strategist, Justin Lurie – member of the American Petroleum Institute and former Republican Congressional candidate, join Greg Groogan in a conversation about the ITC fire and regulations on the petrochemical industry as well as public health and safety.


Chemicals from the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) facility in Deer Park have leaked into the Houston Ship Channel and Tucker Bayou following the collapse of a containment wall on Friday, officials say.

Officials say at approximately 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, the secondary containment wall surrounding the western tank farm adjacent to tank 80-7 was breached, releasing foam and product into the ditch that runs East to West on Tidal Road. The breach was approximately 10 feet wide.

While some of the liquid remained contained behind the barrier, a lot of it escaped. The root cause of the breach is currently under investigation.

As a result of the breach, there was a release of product causing a localized elevation in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). On the same day around 3:45 p.m., a fire reignited on multiple tanks.

Officials at the news conference stated the fire spread to the liquid that had escaped through the containment wall into the adjacent ditch. Firefighters on scene responded immediately by placing foam on the fires, extinguishing the flames at approximately 4:45 p.m.

ITC officials say they continue to monitor VOC levels in the community. Current readings in the community are below action levels.

Independence Parkway, the San Jacinto Monument, the Battleship Texas State Parks, and the Lynchburg Ferry crossing are currently closed due to intermittent levels of volatile organic compounds.

As a precaution, Harris County Commissioner Precinct 2 has closed the following parks with waterfronts in the ITC incident area. Scheduled events at these parks are cancelled until further notice:

  1. Bay Area Park in Houston
  2. Clear Lake Park in Seabrook
  3. Sylvan Beach in La Porte
  4. Juan Seguin in La Porte
  5. Rio Villa Nature Trail
  6. Meadow Brook
  7. River Terrace
  8. Moncrief Park

The Baytown Nature Center will be closed until further notice due to the ITC facility incident. Full Moon Hike is cancelled.

Extracurricular activities scheduled Saturday for La Porte ISD will continue as planned if they are NOT being held in La Porte ISD or other districts that will be closed.

The following east area Houston ISD campuses have canceled weekend activities have been canceled:

  • Austin HS
  • BCM Biotexh Academy at Rusk
  • Booner ES
  • Briscoe ES
  • Burnet ES
  • Cage ES
  • Carrillo ES
  • Chaves HS
  • Chrysalis MS
  • Crespo ES
  • Davila ES
  • DeZavala ES
  • East Early College HS
  • Eastwood Academy HS
  • Edison MS
  • Franklin MS
  • Furr HS
  • Gallegos ES
  • J.R. Harris ES
  • R.P. Harris ES
  • J.P. Henderson ES
  • High School for Law & Justice
  • Lantrip ED
  • Laurenzo ECC
  • Lewis ES
  • Middle College HS-Fraga
  • Milby HS
  • Mount Carmel Academy HS
  • Navarro MS
  • Oates ES
  • Ortiz MS
  • Park Place ES
  • Patterson ES
  • Pleasantville ES
  • Port Houston ES
  • Robinson ES
  • Rucker ES
  • Sanchez ES
  • Southmayd ES
  • Stevenson MS
  • Tijerina ES
  • Whittier ES
  • Young Scholars

Continue monitoring here for updated air quality monitoring information.


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has filed an environmental lawsuit against Intercontinental Terminals Company.

The lawsuit seeks "injunctive relief and civil penalties" related to the fire at the ITC Deer Park petrochemical storage facility, alleging that the fire that began on Sunday and continued burning until Wednesday has released air pollution in violation of the Texas Clean Air Act.

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

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

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board announced on Thursday that it is opening an investigation into the ITC fire