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.
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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."