In the Houston Health Department's employee newsletter, "The Pulse," HHD leaders commended employees for their swift and conscientious action in the weeks after the ITC explosion and fires that erupted on March 17.
"Thank you to our many dedicated hard-working employees who responded to this incident in order to protect our community," the post stated.
"Our department quickly sprang into action as smoke from the ITC facility in Deer Park started darkening our sky. Our continuous day and night air quality sampling showed a low health risk in the city of Houston. We used an aggressive approach with a variety of more than two dozen air quality monitors across the city, including fixed site, temporary and handheld devices.
"Sampling was conducted for benzene and 53 other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), in addition to particulate matter (PM). We posted more than two dozen original and partner-sourced updates throughout the event. Our original posts have been amplified by several city departments, including the mayor and Office of Emergency Management, and media. Information was also coordinated with the Harris County Joint Information Center. We also conducted sampling of Sims, Brays and Buffalo Bayous."