Top Stories
Top Stories

UPDATE 1-Mitsui & Co's ITC hit with water pollution charges after Texas tank fire

fire@ (Adds details on criminal charges, quote from Harris County official)

April 29 (Reuters) - Mitsui & Co Ltd's Intercontinental Terminals Co faces five environmental criminal charges following a March chemical fire at its Deer Park, Texas, petrochemical storage facility, local officials said on Monday.

ITC was charged with polluting waterways that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, according to a statement by the Harris County district attorney. ITC could face penalties of up to $100,000 for each of the five charges, according to Harris County.

ITC did not immediately return a call for comment.

After a fire caused a dike at the facility to break, "large (and still unknown) quantities" of toxic chemicals spilled into a nearby waterway for five days, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement.

"The discharge from the ITC fire into Tucker Bayou is a clear water pollution case," Alex Forrest, an environmental crimes division chief prosecutor with the district attorney's office, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston; Editing by Tom Brown and Peter Cooney)