Elevated benzene levels detected in water near ITC facility

DEER PARK, Texas (KTRK) -- After the ongoing problems at the ITC tank facility in Deer Park, the Galveston Bay Foundation decided to conduct its own water testing near the facility.

On Friday, the employees took to the Houston Ship Channel to conduct the tests.

"My hope is that we'll be able to see clean-up efforts that have prevented as much containment as possible from making its way into the water, and my fear is that we will see the opposite," Galveston Bay Foundation water quality manager Sarah Gossett said.

After the ITC tank fires sent chemicals into the water, the company says water results show "somewhat elevated benzene levels at the ITC facility in relation to surrounding samples,"

The company also stated that the levels were well below the surface water quality standards. Also, the samples from Friday were taken before the dike failure, so conditions may be different.

The Galveston Bay Foundation stopped at five locations near the ITC facility, and up and down the Houston Ship Channel.

The water was tested for chemicals and the foam used to stop the fire. The group is working with Texas A&M, which is collecting other samples further along the waterway.

"Seeing the harm that is done by people who also utilize the bay, we just want to make sure we're doing everything we can to work together to clean this up," Gossett said.

The Galveston Bay Foundation said they are continuing to monitor the situation, and will collect more water samples Saturday.
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