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Tank Fire Settlement to Fund Restoration Projects in Galveston Bay, Texas

APRIL 8, 2024 — On April 2, 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a proposed settlement valued at approximately $6.65 million to compensate for natural resource injuries resulting from a tank fire in Deer Park, Texas. The event involved the release of thousands of barrels of hazardous substances and oil. 

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

The settlement will be used to resolve the liability of Intercontinental Terminals Company, LLC (ITC) to compensate the public for damages to ecological services, loss of recreational services, as well as the cost of assessing those injuries.

“NOAA is pleased to have worked cooperatively with industry and our co-trustees to reach an agreement to restore coastal waterways and communities impacted by this catastrophic event,” said Assistant Administrator Nicole LeBoeuf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Ocean Service in a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. “Clean and resilient waterways are vital to coastal communities and this restoration will especially benefit those who have been disproportionately impacted by pollution.”

The Trustees determined that the hazardous substances released from ITC’s facility caused significant injuries to ecological resources, including marsh, riparian habitat areas, and birds. In addition, the hazardous chemicals released into the 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 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 resulted in the release of hundreds of thousands of barrels-worth of petrochemical products and firefighting water and foam into Tucker Bayou and surrounding waterways, including the Houston Ship Channel.

For more information about the ITC Tank Fire, see the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) website.

Last updated Thursday, April 11, 2024 2:33pm PDT