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BP Given Huge Pollution Fine

by Alan Harten
February 23, 2009

British Petroleum (BP) through its US subsidiary, BP Products North America, will pay around $180 million after a fatal explosion and subsequent fire at its refinery in Texas led to the deaths of 15 and injuries to over 170 people.

A spokesman said that BP is relieved to have finally settled with the US Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after a number of years

BP will pay a $12 million fine, and in excess of $161 million to improve measures to control pollution, as well as six million dollars on improving air quality and lowering air pollution close to the Texas refinery.

BP admitted a breach of the Clean Air Act and will pay a further fine of $35 million.

Catherine McCabe of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, commented, Thursday, that BP did not comply with the law, putting public health and air quality in danger.

McCabe said the settlement will improve air quality for the residents of Texas City who will enjoy better air quality, many of whom are low-income earners and minority groups.

This new agreement requires stringent new measures to protect air quality and public health in Texas beyond those originally required at the Texas City Refinery, he said.

John Cruden, deputy attorney general of the Department of Justice said that they and the EPA will track vigorously companies which do not follow environmental protection laws and we will make them liable.

We will carry on the reduction of emissions maintain meeting the regulations at Texas City.

BP, by a process of acquisitions and mergers is now the biggest producer of oil and gas and a major US distributor of gasoline.

Its primary production is centred on the Gulf of Mexico, close to Houston.

The BP has modern refineries in Toledo, Whiting, Texas City, Cherry Point and Carson.

These five refineries have a total capacity of converting, each day, 1.5 million barrels of crude oil.

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