September 30th, 2010
04:21 PM ET

BP agrees to pay $15M for refinery violations

BP Products North America Inc. has agreed to pay a $15 million penalty to resolve federal Clean Air Act violations relating to two fires and a leak at its Texas City, Texas, oil refinery, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department said Thursday.

The fires - in March 2004 and July 2005 - and the leak in August 2005 released thousands of pounds of flammable and toxic air pollutants, the EPA said.

The violations were identified during investigations after a separate incident - a March 2005 explosion and fire that killed 15 people and injured more than 170 others, the EPA said.

The agreement announced Thursday is subject to a court approval.

The $15 million penalty would bring to roughly $137 million the amount in criminal, civil and administrative fees that BP has paid relating to safety violations at the refinery, which is the third-largest refinery in the United States, the EPA said. BP pleaded guilty to a felony in connection with the 2005 explosion.

Also a result of previous settlements relating to the 2005 blast, BP has taken corrective actions worth $1.4 billion and will spend about $500 million more to improve the refinery’s safety, the EPA said.

The $15 million penalty would be the largest civil penalty recovered for Clean Air Act violations at a single facility, according to the EPA.

The EPA still is investigating an incident “that resulted in the flaring of chemicals” at the facility between April and May of this year, said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the EPA’s office of enforcement and compliance assurance.

 “Beyond this investigation, EPA continues to scrutinize BP’s Texas City operations and is committed to holding BP accountable for its actions,” Giles said.

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soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. WAKE UP!

    CONGRATS BP ON SLITHERING YOUR WAY OUT YET AGAIN! Want to know whats ruining america our joke laws regarding big corporations. Price lock them for a decade with fine them with much more $ spent in clean up and restoration. Until we start to care more about our enviornment and enforce laws accordingly, industry monsters will desroy our world. But hey at least they will have enough money to take care of and shelter themselves when all goes to crap! Wake up america, we can make a difference, we just have to try!

    October 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kim

    I say tell bp to remove all on and off shore businesses from the U.S till they resolve their safety issues and prove that they can maintain them. Why are we letting them profit from us and disrespecting our enviroment,and our people?

    October 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. david

    I agree with wakeup don't people realize how much corp. america controls our country. media,we don't even get the real truth in news because corporate pays for the advertising and they dictate what news is covered. Politics Wow where do you even begin.Corporate greed is destroying us just wait till they privatize social security then we are really done.

    October 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
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