Shell settled with US EPA to 'avoid lengthy litigation'

10 December 2001 20:34  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (CNI)--Shell Chemical said Monday it paid a $350 000 (Euro397 700) fine to settle a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lawsuit following a 1997 explosion and fire at the company's Deer Park olefins unit "to avoid lengthy litigation and bring closure to the incident."

The 22 June event caused extensive damage to the facility and injured several workers. An EPA/Shell investigation later showed the explosion and fire were caused by a check valve failure which released flammable gas.

In a statement released to CNI, Shell noted that the EPA alleged the company failed to prevent the accidental release of flammable material and to identify hazards using appropriate hazards assessment techniques.

Shell continued: "We believe that a safe and proper working environment was maintained at all times and that the cause of the incident was a defectively designed valve. Shell took legal action against the valve manufacturer and the claim was settled."

By: Mike Sheridan
+1 713 525 2653

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