US refinery executive pleads guilty to violating air pollution law

06 July 2011 23:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The vice president and general manager of US Pelican Refining Company (PRC), pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two misdemeanour counts of negligent endangerment under the Clean Air Act, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said.

The EPA accused Byron Hamilton of allowing the release of carcinogenic air pollutants, such as benzene, toluene and xylene, and exposing employees to hydrogen sulphide.

The aromatics have been known to cause liver and kidney damage, while hydrogen sulphide can cause eye irritation, fatigue and even death.   

In 2006, the EPA and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) inspected PRC’s Lake Charles, Louisiana plant, where they found several unsafe operating conditions, the EPA said.

Hamilton faces up to one year in prison and a $200,000 fine for each of the two counts, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

PRC acquired the Lake Charles plant in 2005 from American International Petroleum. It has a capacity of 30,000 bbl/day.

By: Bobbie Clark

By: Staff Reporter
+44 20 8652 3214

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