Media Release #31

DATE: April 1, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UPDATE 31: 2nd 80’s Fire Response Unified Command continues cleanup,
secures the incident site tank farm

HOUSTON – Unified Command for the 2nd 80’s Fire Response reports that the tank farm containment area is stable, meaning minimal liquid level with a foam covering remain to suppress vapors. A stable site poses a low risk for re-ignition so crews can turn their attention to higher-priority areas for removing product, such as the tanks and water recovery from the Houston Ship Channel (HSC). Ultimately all product will be removed from the tank farm/incident site.


Operational Update

Unified Command conducted an overflight of the incident site this morning, April 1, 2019 at 10 a.m. to visually evaluate the progress of product recovery efforts in the HSC. To date, more than 61,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons) of oily water mix have been removed from the waterways.

As of Monday morning, 92,222 barrels (almost 4 million gallons) of product mixed with water and firefighting foam have been removed from the tank farm, which is now secure.

Saturday, crews began working on product removal from tank 80-11, but were postponed in order to stabilize the tank farm containment area with plans to resume.  Nine tanks remain secure.


Environmental & Wildlife Impact

A third containment boom is now in place to protect Santa Anna Marsh. One barrier is on the San Jacinto River as the water flows into Santa Anna Bayou and two more are at the mouth of the marsh. To view a map showing the extent and location of containment boom placement, visit: https://itcresponse.com/.

Containment boom deployed totals more than 130,000 feet 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.

Nine birds are currently at the wildlife recovery center for rehabilitation.  A second dolphin has beached on Bolivar Peninsula and is currently at the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TMMSN) for rehabilitation. Late last week a deceased dolphin was found in Seabrook. TMMSN is still investigating the death and has yet to confirm the death to be linked to the incident.

The total confirmed wildlife deaths as of 3:25 p.m. Monday are 25 animals including three red-eared slider turtles, nine birds and 13 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 ITC Deer Park incident site as it continues product removal activities. As of 12:00 p.m. Monday, 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 of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and all readings have been below any actionable levels. Crews continue to monitor air quality by land and air to report any elevated VOCs around the industrial area near the incident site.

There is 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=.


Community Impact

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:

ITC Claim
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.

For more information on the cleanup effort as it becomes available, visit www.itcresponse.com or follow us on twitter at @CaresITC.

 

For information contact:

Joint Information Center: 832-780-6739
Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
inquiries@itcresponse.com
ITCCares@iterm.com