The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) prompted the city of Deerpark, Texas to “shelter in place” due to poor air quality. The toxic air issue was traced to the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park site.
“After receiving consistent air quality readings below the actionable limit, the City of Deer Park is officially lifting its Shelter-in-Place order as of 11:40 a.m.” A statement read, according to KHOU.com.
Air quality readings were showing high levels of benzene in the area. A private contractor, local county HAZMAT teams, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have since determined that the toxic chemical levels are greatly reduced.
EPA spokesman Adam Adams said at a press conference that he believes good air quality will continue through the night. He also said that areas around highway 225 are being carefully monitored.
Intercontinental Terminals Company’s spokeswoman, Alice Richardson, says the issue was caused by “shifting of the foam in one of the tanks.”
Harris County Public Health tweeted the following in regards to the matter.
Benzene Exposure Symptoms
Benzene exposure can cause drowsiness, confusion, rapid heart beat, tremors, headaches, and more. If eaten, it can cause vomiting, sleepiness, and even death.
Shelter In Place Meaning
A shelter in place order means family and pets should be brought inside. Doors should be locked, windows and vents closed, and fireplace access closed. Fans should be shut off and emergency kits should be available.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.