BP, Total fined by Texas environmental agency

20 April 2011 23:22  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on Wednesday fined BP $242,900 (€170,030) for wastewater violations and Total Petrochemicals North America $130,575 for air violations.

The TCEQ fined BP for wastewater violations last year at its Texas City refinery.

The refinery on 16 February 2010, released 5,466 lb (2.5 tonnes) of toluene mixed with wastewater to the facility’s wastewater treatment plant and then released 24.31m gal (92m litres) of partially treated wastewater mixed with toluene into a canal, killing 33 fish, according to the TCEQ.

The refinery also released 750 gal of nonhazardous bio-sludge into a ditch on 27 January 2010, according to the TCEQ.

BP stopped the discharges and updated operational procedures to prevent future incidences, the TCEQ said.

Total was fined for alleged air emissions violations at its Port Arthur refinery as a result of investigations conducted during September 2008, and January 2009, the TCEQ said.

Emissions of hydrogen chloride, nitrous oxides, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds exceeded allowable limits, the TCEQ said. The TCEQ also alleged that Total failed to adequately report hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide emissions.

Total denied the allegations, according to the TCEQ.

In all, the TCEQ approved more than $1.3m in fines on Wednesday.

($1 = €0.70)

By: Brian Ford
+1 713 525 2653

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