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The homes lay outside the advised evacuation zone, but, weeks after a release at the plant following loss of refrigeration during Harvey’s floods, properties in Crosby were still found to contain toxic levels of poisonous gas, according to a new federal lawsuit filed on behalf of the homeowners there.


RELATED: The Arkema plant that exploded in Crosby during Harvey is rebuilding homes up north of all places

The properties around the Arkema plant are “littered with toxins, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, and dioxins,” the suit provides.

After the fires at the plant, smoke, which witnesses said smelled like ammonia, approached Shannan Wheeler’s home, who lives about three miles from the plant.

“It didn’t rise, it simply spread like a rolling wave,” Wheeler said in an interview with ABC 13. “Right over our house.”

Then, he said, black sludge and ash started to show up around his one-acre property; Wheeler further said he developed a rash on his wrists as he picked up grass clippings two weeks after the fires.

As stated in his lawsuit, filed Monday, a doctor diagnosed his skin condition as contact dermatitis.

Wheller further claims Arkema is slow to provide answers.

RELATED: Smoke from Arkema chemical plant fire is “noxious” but not “toxic,” company says

While the company would not directly respond to the lawsuit, it issued a statement:

“We won’t comment on specific ongoing litigation. Based on testing results received to date, Arkema has not detected chemicals in off-site ash, soil, surface or drinking water samples that exceeded Residential Protective Concentration Levels established by TCEQ for soil and groundwater. We do not know what these lawyers tested for. We are cooperating with authorities in ongoing investigations and we will not comment further on these lawyers’ accusations.”

This is a developing story.

Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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