BP Releases Toxic Pollution in Texas City…Again

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Along with a refinery operated by Valero Energy Corporation, BP’s Texas City, Texas, refining operation has once again polluted the air of local residents, this time with a discharge of 150,000 pounds of pollutants.
The releases by Valero and BP were caused by power troubles that forced the companies to shut down their operations. Texas City officials said the emissions did not reach harmful levels, although residents were warned to stay indoors following the industrial events. Some residents reported experiencing health effects, and at least 25 people went to the hospital.
Initially, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reported the level of chemical emissions maxed out the monitoring equipment at one point. They later announced that their testing device had malfunctioned and the readings were invalid. The possibility that the TCEQ is not capable of properly monitoring toxic emissions came at an awkward time for local politicians, who are trying to fend off the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it considers stricter rules for emissions monitoring.
BP’s Texas City plant is no stranger to trouble. Fifteen workers died in a 2005 explosion, and last year the refinery released more than 500,000 pounds of toxic chemicals over a period of 40 days because of faulty equipment.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Texas Neighbors Sue BP as “Known Felon” (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Texas Sues BP…But Not over Oil Spill (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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