• Inside Labour

    Without radical policy change SA's social fabric will continue to fray, says Terry Bell.

  • Long live your gadget

    Real gadget protection tends to cost real money, writes Arthur Goldstuck.

  • Taking SA for a ride

    The ANC seems to think all South Africans are idiots, says Mzwandile Jacks.

Data provided by iNet BFA
Loading...
See More

BP sued for pollution

Aug 10 2010 11:48

Related Articles

BP coughs up for pollution

$1.5bn pollution fine for Shell

Turning pollution into profits

US probes BP insider trading

BP confident oil leak plugged

BP tallies oil spill costs

 

Chicago -The state of Texas accused BP of putting profits before environmental safety and sued the British energy giant on Monday for the mass release of pollutants after a fire at its troubled Texas City refinery.

The lawsuit comes as BP works to finally kill a runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico responsible for one of the world's worst ever oil spills.

It is the second time in as many years that Texas has sued BP for air pollution violations at the refinery where 15 workers were killed in a 2005 explosion.

BP has already faced record federal fines related to that incident, but the case filed on Monday by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott argues that BP has not learned its lesson.

BP is accused of illegally emitting approximately £500 000 of harmful air pollutants over the course of 40 days earlier this year.

The pollutants were released after a compressor caught fire on April 6.

State regulators investigating the incident determined that the fire could have been prevented with proper maintenance.

BP also could have avoided releasing the pollutants by idling the two units associated with the compressor until repairs were complete.

Instead, they were restarted after the fire "so as not to reduce productivity," Abbott wrote in a nine page petition.

"BP made very little attempt to minimise the emission of air contaminants caused by its actions, once again prioritising profits over environmental compliance," Abbott wrote.

Abbott accused BP of engaging in a "pattern of unnecessary and unlawful" emissions from the refinery due to "poor operation and maintenance".

State officials have entered 15 enforcement orders against BP for violations related to at least 39 excessive emission events at the refinery between 2000 and 2007, he noted.

"In addition to a history of repeated violations of the law related to unauthorised air emissions, many of these orders show a pattern of failure to properly report Emissions Events," Abbott wrote.

Seven of the 72 violations cited in the lawsuit the state filed against BP last year relate to the unit involved in this case.

The Texas City facility is BP's largest refinery and has a feed capacity of approximately 460 000 barrels of crude oil per day. It processes a wide range of petroleum products, including gasoline, heavy fuel oil and sulfuric acid.

Along with another BP facility in Toledo, Ohio the refinery accounts for 97% of all flagrant violations found in the US refining industry by inspectors over the past three years, according to the center for public integrity.

Most of BP's 862 citations were classified as "egregious willful" by the occupational safety and health administration, the nonprofit investigative journalism group said in a report released in May.

Abbott is seeking civil penalties of up to $25 000 per day of each violation of state air quality laws, as well as attorneys' fees and investigative costs.

- AFP
bp  |  texas  |  pollution  |  enviroment
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

“Hippie sense makes business sense,” an entrepreneur said, adding that "purpose" was core to success.
 

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...