HOUSTON – The 2nd 80’s Fire Response Unified Command conducted an overflight of the incident site today, Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 8 a.m., and reported that conditions are visually improving in the open channel.
A total of 61,472 barrels (more than 2.5 million) of oily water mix have been removed from the waterways.
From the tank farm, 40,805 barrels (more than 1.7 million gallons) of product mixed with water and firefighting foam have been removed from the tank farm. Yesterday, crews began working to remove product from tank 80-11, which is still in progress. Tank 80-11 contains base oil, or lube oil, which is thick and slow to pump. Once complete, crews will begin securing tanks 80-5 and 80-6.
Environmental & Wildlife Impact
Two containment boom barriers are in place to protect Santa Anna Marsh. One barrier is on the San Jacinto River as the water flows into Santa Anna Bayou and the second barrier is further inland in Santa Anna Bayou to provide a second layer of protection for the sensitive marsh. To date, the Santa Anna Marsh has not been impacted by the incident.
More than 100,000 feet of containment boom remain deployed in the impacted areas, which include the Battleship Texas area, the Burnett Bay oyster beds, Carpenters Bayou, Crystal Bay Marsh, Old River, Patrick Bayou, Santa Anna Bayou and marsh, the western shore of the mouth of the San Jacinto River, Tucker Bayou, and the Intercontinental Terminals Company, LLC (ITC) docks.
To view a map showing the extent and location of containment boom placement as well as drone footage, visit: https://itcresponse.com/.
On Saturday, ten additional birds were found alive and are at the wildlife recovery center; four others were found dead. A dolphin was reported in Seabrook, but investigators with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network are still investigating the death and have yet to confirm the death to be linked to the incident. In total, the confirmed wildlife deaths as of 7:00 a.m. this morning include two red-eared slider turtles, eight birds and nine fish.
Public Health & Safety
The response team continues to see brief, periodic fluctuations in benzene readings within a two-mile radius of the immediate vicinity around the Intercontinental Terminals Company, LLC (ITC) Deer Park incident site. As of 5:00 p.m., no residential areas have been affected.
Governmental and ITC teams are deployed in and around Deer Park to monitor and quickly report any potential elevation; however, all readings have been below any actionable levels. Crews continue to monitor air quality by land and air to report any elevated volatile organic compounds (VOC) around the industrial area near the incident site.
There continues to be a low health risk for the general public, according to the Harris County Public Health Department (HCPHD). Those who live in close proximity to the chemical terminal who may have greater sensitivity to the changes in the environment related to the fire (children, elderly, or those with certain chronic health conditions or immunosuppressed) may be more susceptible.
HCPHD recommends that those who have health concerns contact their healthcare provider or if more serious, call 911. If you do not have a healthcare provider, the Harris Health System’s “Ask My Nurse” helpline (713-634-1110) remains open to help answer heath questions. To find a healthcare provider close to you, visit: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/?display=map&zip=.
Residents and businesses impacted by the ITC fire may still submit claims. Forms are available for download at: www.ITCclaims.com.
Once completed, forms can be emailed to Incident31719@itcclaims.com or sent by postal mail to:
March 17, 2019 Incident
PO Box 698
Deer Park, Texas 77536
A claims phone hotline is also available at: 346-263-9766. The hotline is staffed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Unified Command is an authority structure, in the Incident Command System, in which the role of incident commander is shared by two or more individuals, each having authority in a different responding agency. Unified Command is often needed for incidents involving multiple jurisdictions or agencies. Unified Command allows agencies with different legal, geographic, and functional authorities and responsibilities to work together effectively without affecting individual agency authority, responsibility, or accountability. For the Intercontinental Terminals Company, LLC (ITC) fire response, Unified Command consists of the following agencies and organizations: the United States Environmental Protection Agency as the federal on-scene coordinator; the United States Coast Guard; the state of Texas, which includes the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Texas Parks & Wildlife; Harris County and Intercontinental Terminals Company, LLC (ITC). All federal and state agencies have a legislative mandate to oversee responses of hazardous substances and oil spills to ensure public health and the environment and to ensure the responsible party takes all necessary action.
For more information contact:
Joint Information Center: 832-780-6739
Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week