Another suit filed against Arkema for Harvey fires, explosions

The French-based company whose chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, was flooded by Hurricane Harvey, triggering chemical fires and explosions, is facing another lawsuit, Kallanish Energy reports.

Texas’ Harris County has filed a suit, charging Arkema Inc. violated environmental, safety and building regulations and put first responders at risk when it lost control of its chemical plant.

The county is seeking $1 million in penalties and wants the company to build stronger storage areas and to establish a system to notify neighbors in the case of future incidents

The suit was filed last week in state district court.

The company told the Houston Chronicle newspaper it has been cooperating with authorities and it was a victim of the hurricane.

The Arkema plant northeast of Houston produces organic peroxides that must be refrigerated to keep them safe. The hurricane knocked out power and backup power.

Nine trailers full of chemicals exploded and burned over six days, after the company said it was unable to keep the chemicals safe.

Each trailer held an estimated 500,000 pounds of chemicals used in making organic peroxides used in the plastics and rubber industries.

The company evacuated the site on Aug. 29 because of the threat. An area 1.5 miles in diameter around the plant was also evacuated.

The first fire started on Aug. 31. Two trailers caught fire on Sept. 1. Authorities detonated six trailers on Sept. 3.

In all, 300 homes were evacuated and 30 people were hospitalized.

A group of Texas first responders and Crosby residents has sued Arkema. Other neighbors have also filed a separate suit.

A number of federal, state and local agencies have the company under investigation, even as the plant remains closed.

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