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Monday, August 27, 2012
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan Sues Channelview petrochemical company
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan filed suit today against one of the largest petrochemical facilities on the Gulf Coast, for violating state air pollution laws. The County sued Equistar Chemical, L.P. claiming that the company had on four separate occasions released more than five tons of pollutants into the atmosphere at the company’s plant located at 8280 Sheldon Road in Channelview. The County also charges the company failed to report the releases as required by law on two of these occasions.
Investigators from Harris County Pollution Control Services discovered the violation releases when the company failed to report them in a timely manner.
According to Rock Owens, Senior Assistant County Attorney “The late reporting of these emissions is troubling because the chemicals emitted include Benzene, Octane, Ethylene, Propylene and 1,3 Butadiene; chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment. In addition a company the size of Equistar knows what the law requires and our concerns are heightened.”
This is not the first time Harris County has sued Equistar for air pollution. Harris County and the State of Texas sued the company in 2010 however the company subsequently filed for bankruptcy.
In its original petition the County is asking a court to issue a permanent injunction ordering the company to stop future illegal releases and if they do occur, to report them in a timely manner. The County also seeks to recover its attorney’s fees, court costs and civil penalties that can be as high as $25,000.00 per day, per violation.
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