Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan moves to force tank cleaning company to obey pollution law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2014

Contact: Robert Soard
First Assistant County Attorney
Robert.Soard@cao.hctx.net
Office: 713-274-5103

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has filed a lawsuit against a Channelview industrial tank and container cleaning business demanding that the business stop the pollution and noxious odors that flow from the facility.

Ryan contends that these emissions and waste materials are causing neighbors to complain of nausea, headaches and burning eyes.

The defendant, Texas Industrial Box Maintenance, located at 15531 Market Street, cleans tanks and containers used in the transportation and storage of chemicals and regulated waste.

Nearby residents have complained about the smells coming from the tank cleaning operation, leading the Harris County Pollution Control Department to cite the company on seven separate occasions for violating Texas environmental and safety laws.

“The tank and container cleaning business is an essential part of our region’s oil and petrochemical industry. It is also a dangerous business,” County Attorney Ryan said. “Our Office will continue to work to make sure that these companies are following the laws that protect our residents.”

According to the lawsuit the company allowed unauthorized air emissions, accepted chemical waste without a permit and allowed chemical waste to flow into the waterways.

In addition to seeking a court order to require the company to follow health and safety laws, the County Attorney has asked for civil penalties of up to $25,000 for each day the company has violated, and continues to violate, the law.

The Harris County Pollution Control Department estimates there are approximately 50 tank cleaning facilities registered in Harris County.

A copy of the lawsuit is available here.

A photo of the tank cleaning facility is available here.