U.S. State of Texas Charges BP with Pollution Violations
June 04, 2009
The U.S. state of Texas has charged a subsidiary of British oil giant BP with 46 pollution violations at its Texas City refinery, including an emission linked to the 2005 explosion that killed 15 workers and hurt many more, Texas authorities said on Thursday.
The BP subsidiary, BP Products North America, "is charged with polluting our environment, concealing information from authorities and harming Texans," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a news release.
"In recent years, more than 45 unlawful pollutant emissions occurred at BP's Texas City facility. This enforcement action holds BP accountable for failing to comply with environmental, health and safety laws that are intended to protect Texans from harm," Abbott said.
The violations occurred between 2002 and 2007 at BP's Texas City refinery, according to the attorney general.
The lawsuit accused BP of not reporting unlawful emissions to the state within the required time period. BP also violated the law when it "did not take the necessary measures to prevent additional unlawful emission in a timely manner," the lawsuit said.
BP said in a statement that the company was working to "resolve this matter and address the state's concerns."
"We are working hard to reduce the number of emissions events at the Texas City refinery," the statement said. "When they fully take hold, the improvements we are making should deliver a significant decrease in the number, size and frequency of emissions events at the refinery."
Texas is seeking an injunction requiring BP to take all necessary steps to prevent future unlawful emissions. It also wants BP to install additional air quality monitors "to ensure future compliance with emissions regulations" and is seeking unspecified civil penalties, fines and attorneys' fees.
BP is recovering from a recent string of high-profile incidents ranging from the deadly explosion at its Texas City facilities to federal charges of propane-market manipulation and operational problems in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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