Specifically, the fire broke out on March 17 and rapidly spread to seven filled tanks at its peak. Luckily, the fire was out by March 20.
Yet, a few reflash events occurred, and the workers have been conducting draining operations to the last of the petrochemicals in the affected tanks. According to AP, crews continued to drain an estimated 20.000 barrels of chemicals from a tank damaged in the fire.
On March 22, the containment wall around the tank farm failed, sending an unknown quality of refined petroleum products and firefighting foam into a ditch that drains into the Houston Ship Channel.
After the incident, the environmental contractor for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has been working to contain the site using booms, and it is pumping waste to storage containers to mitigate the release.
In the meantime, US Coast Guard's Gulf Strike Team, by having expertise in spill response, was called to help, whereas 15 skimmers are for the time being working on the cleanup effort on the waterway.
The Houston Chronicle reports that about 60.000 gallons of contaminant-laden water have been collected so far.
Because of the petrochemicals being released, environmental assessments are scheduled to be conducted. TCEQ has been taking water samples from the drainage ditch, and nine chemicals in its samples exceeded health-protective concentration levels, including xylenes, pyrene, anthracene, benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, and 2-methylnaphthalene.
Concluding, surface water sampling continues in Tucker Bayou, the Houston Ship Channel, and the channel's entrance to Galveston Bay. TQEC has not yet released the results of these sample tests, but it noted that the spill does not threaten drinking water supplies.