Texas AG Sues BP for Refinery Pollution

June 4, 2009

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit Thursday against BP Plc’s U.S. subsidiary for violations of state pollution laws by the company’s giant Texas City, Texas, refinery.

The suit seeks court orders to force BP to comply with state laws along with unspecified civil penalties, Abbott said in a statement.

In filing the civil lawsuit against BP Products North America Inc, Abbott cited 46 releases of pollution at the refinery, including those associated with a March 23, 2005, explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 180 other people.

“BP Products is charged with polluting our environment, concealing information from authorities and harming Texans,” Abbott said in statement. “This enforcement action holds BP accountable for failing to comply with environmental, health and safety laws that are intended to protect Texans from harm.”

Abbott’s lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages under Texas law for each day each violation occurred plus legal fees for the cost of the lawsuit.

“Our goal is to resolve this matter and address the state’s concerns,” said BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell in a statement. “We are working hard to reduce the number of emissions events at the Texas City refinery.”

Chappell added that BP has invested more than $1 billion in workers, work processes and facilities to reduce pollution at the BP refinery in Texas City, which is located about 50 miles south of downtown Houston. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

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