04 June 2009 22:48 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Texas is suing BP’s North American operations over 46 alleged pollution violations at the energy producer's Texas City, Texas, 467,720 bbl/day refinery, the state said on Thursday.
The case cites 15 enforcement orders issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) against the facility between 2000 and 2007, including for a March 2005 explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 170.
“BP Products is charged with polluting our environment, concealing information from authorities and harming Texans,” state Attorney General Greg Abbott said. “This enforcement action holds BP accountable for failing to comply with environmental, health and safety laws that are intended to protect Texans from harm.”
BP failed to report emissions to environmental regulators within deadlines and also did not take necessary measures to prevent additional unlawful emissions in a timely manner, according to the state attorney general .
BP said it had no specific comment on the litigation, but added its goal was to resolve the situation and address the state’s concerns. BP said it had “worked hard” to reduce the number of emissions events at the refinery.
“We have made substantial investments (more than $1bn [€710m]) in our people, in our work processes and in upgrading our facilities,” spokesman Ronnie Chappell 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.”
The state said it was seeking an injunction requiring BP to implement measures to eliminate unlawful emissions, including the installation additional air quality monitors. The state said it was also seeking civil penalties and fines.
A hearing on the injunction application was scheduled for 29 June. Financial figures were not revealed.
($1 = €0.71)
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