Texas AG files suit over massive Houston fire

The massive fire that happened a week ago near Houston prompted the Texas Attorney General to file suit against the company responsible for the 3-day blaze.

Ken Paxton filed suit against Intercontinental Terminals Company alleging it released pollution in violation of the Texas Clean Air Act. His 18-page lawsuit was filed in a Travis County district court and seeks a citation and civil penalties against the liquid storage terminal company.

The violations of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rules include unauthorized air pollution, outdoor burning and visible emissions.

“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,” Paxton said in a statement. “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.”

The TCEQ continues to monitor the air quality in the affected areas about 20 miles east of Houston according to the Houston Chronicle. The federal Chemical Safety Board, which investigates serious chemical accidents, announced Thursday that it is opening an investigation into the ITC fire.

“I would like to thank the Attorney General for acting so quickly on TCEQ’s request to enforce against ICT, LLC,” the environmental agency’s Executive Director Toby Baker said in a statement.

So far, Baker said, only air quality violations have been cited in the suit “due to the dynamic, ongoing investigation.” Additional violations, including water quality, will be referred to the Attorney General as part of the action, he said.