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Damaged tanks at the ITC Deer Park facility on March 27, 2019 near La Porte, Texas.
Damaged tanks at the ITC Deer Park facility on March 27, 2019 near La Porte, Texas. (Credit: USCG)

Pollution Settlement Finalized to Fund Restoration Projects in Galveston Bay, Texas

June 25, 2024

On June 20th, 2024, a federal court in Texas approved a settlement for $6,645,375 with Intercontinental Terminals Company, LLC (ITC) the responsible party —for impacts to ecological services and recreational activities from pollution, as well as the cost of assessing those injuries. The Trustees for this site include the United States Department of the Interior, through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, jointly with the State of Texas, appearing through the Office of the Texas Attorney General, on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas General Land Office. 

The Trustees determined that the hazardous substances released from ITC’s facility from a tank fire caused significant injuries to ecological resources, including marsh, riparian habitat areas, and birds. In addition, the hazardous chemicals released into air and water resulted in lost recreational opportunities in the Deer Park area, including temporary closures of multiple state, county, and city parks and the Lynchburg Ferry, as well as the cancelation of an annual historical reenactment and festival at San Jacinto State Park.

The ITC Trustee Council will begin working to identify restoration projects that will improve habitat and recreational use of the injured natural resources in Galveston Bay. The proposed projects will be included in a Restoration Plan where the public will have an opportunity to provide input. 


On March 17, 2019, a storage tank caught fire engulfing much of the Second 80’s tank battery at the ITC Deer Park facility in Deer Park, Texas. The large aboveground storage tanks contained petrochemical products and hazardous substances. The fire was initially extinguished on March 20, but reignited on March 22 and damaged a second containment wall of the tank facility. This caused a catastrophic breach, releasing hundreds of thousands of barrels of a mixture of hazardous substances consisting of petrochemicals from the storage tanks, fire water, and firefighting foams into the environment. Waterways affected included Tucker Bayou, Buffalo Bayou, San Jacinto River, Houston Ship Channel, Carpenters Bayou, Old River, Santa Anna Bayou and other surrounding water bodies. 

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