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Texas county sues chemical plant owner over fires, blasts

The county that's home to Houston has asked a state court to order safeguards and fine the owner of a chemical plant that partially exploded during Hurricane Harvey. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, the Harris County Attorney's Office said Arkema Inc.'s facility in Crosby violated Texas environmental laws by releasing toxic and hazardous chemicals during flooding and fires, sickening first responders and residents. An Arkema spokeswoman couldn't be immediately reached for comment.
By The News · 16 of November 2017 23:14:13
FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2017, file photo, smoke rises from the Arkema Inc. owned chemical plant in Crosby, near Houston, Texas. The county that's home to Houston has asked a state court to order safeguards and fine the owner of a chemical plant that partially exploded during Hurricane Harvey. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, the Harris County Attorney's Office said Arkema Inc.'s facility in Crosby violated Texas environmental laws by releasing toxic and hazardous chemicals during flooding and fires, sickening first responders and residents. (KTRK via AP, File), No available, FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2017, file photo, smoke rises from the Arkema Inc. owned chemical plant in Crosby, near Houston, Texas. The county that's home to Houston has asked a state court to order safeguards and fine the owner of a chemical plant that partially exploded during Hurricane Harvey. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, the Harris County Attorney's Office said Arkema Inc.'s facility in Crosby violated Texas environmental laws by releasing toxic and hazardous chemicals during flooding and fires, sickening first responders and residents. (KTRK via AP, File)

DALLAS (AP) — The county that’s home to Houston has asked a state court to order safeguards and fine the owner of a chemical plant that partially exploded during Hurricane Harvey.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, the Harris County Attorney’s Office says Arkema Inc.’s facility in Crosby violated Texas environmental laws by releasing toxic chemicals during flooding and fires, sickening responders and residents.

The county said air tests detected volatile organic compounds, which can cause cancer, more than 1 mile (1.61 kilometers) outside a 1.5-mile (2.41-kilometer) evacuation zone created before fires began.

After flooding shut off power in August, the plant couldn’t cool and stabilize its organic peroxides.

Arkema lawyer Rusty Hardin issued a written statement saying the sides had been discussing a resolution and “suing a victim is never the right solution to a natural disaster.”