Local News

Dead Dolphin in Galveston Bay Caused Concerns Over ITC Fire

By  | 


Further concerns regarding the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) fire surfaced following the discovery of a dead dolphin in Galveston Bay. Tests were performed to determine whether the possibility of chemicals from the spill that followed the blaze at the ITC site might have been the cause of the dolphin’s death. Thankfully, an Environmental Protection Agency representative advised in a press conference on Monday, April 1, 2019, that the fire and subsequent spill were not linked to the creature’s death. However, according to officials at ITC, a pair of turtles, eight birds, and nine fish died as a result of the incident.

The dolphin had been tagged by the Galveston Bay Foundation. It was first seen floating in the bay near Todville Road on Saturday, March 30, 2019.  Samples from the dolphin’s body were taken by the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TMMSN) in order for the cause of death to be properly determined. The organization also told local media that cases such as this aren’t unusual at this time of year, however, the death was still being fully investigated.

Dead Dolphin in Galveston Bay Caused Concerns Over ITC Fire

Photo: Facebook/Mark Johan Thorson

ABC13 reported that during Monday’s press conference, an EPA official said there was no link between the dolphin’s death and the ITC tank fire and subsequent spill. Although TMMSN was contacted by the news station for comment, none has been reported to date. The petrochemical fire at ITC first broke out on Sunday, March 17, 2019. Efforts to contain it and extinguish the fire originally appeared successful, but reignition occurred on Friday, March 22, 2019. A dike wall designed to contain the chemicals involved had partially collapsed, causing a spill. This forced a shelter-in-place warning for residents of the area. Since then, the Texas Department of State Health Services has warned that there should be no consumption of fish from the Houston Shipping Channel.