AUSTIN -- A massive fire and explosion broke out this morning along refinery row in Corpus Christi, Texas. This fire follows fires at a Poly-America plastic manufacturing plant in Dallas and Pasadena Refining Systems near Houston earlier this week. Officials say a barge hit the pipeline, causing the explosion and fire.
Catherine Fraser, clean air associate with Environment Texas, issued the following statement:
“Our hearts go out to those injured by today’s explosion and fire. We wish them a full and speedy recovery. We want to thank the first responders for their rapid response to this disaster.
No Texan should have to fear an industrial facility exploding or catching fire. This is the third fire at an industrial facility in Texas this week. These incidents can release high amounts of toxic pollution, like volatile organic compounds, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides, which can cause cancer and harm to the respiratory and immune systems.
We can no longer see these events as isolated incidents. A clear pattern is emerging. Looking back over the last eight years, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has taken enforcement action against just two percent of illegal air pollution events, and Texans continue to pay the price for TCEQ’s failure to hold polluters accountable. Lax regulation is contributing to a culture of carelessness, allowing companies to play fast and loose with our health and safety. Something stinks, and, as we know, fish rots from the head. We need Governor Abbott to hold polluters accountable, and ensure these disasters are the exception, not the rule.”
Environment Texas is a non-profit advocate for clean air, clean water, and open spaces.