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TribBlog: Abbott Takes On BP

The Texas attorney general accuses BP of "once again prioritizing profits over environmental compliance" at its Texas City refinery.

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Greg Abbott wants to see BP in court. Again.

His office filed suit in Travis County against BP's now-notorious Texas City refinery this morning under provisions of the Texas Clean Air Act. The complaint says the beleaguered energy giant's "poor operating and maintaince practices" caused an April 6 fire that led to the release of 500,000 pounds of pollutants there — including carcinogens such as benzene, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide — for a 40-day period, according to records at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Rather than shut down the units affected by the fire and prevent the emissions, the complaint alleges, BP kept operating, "once again prioritizing profits over environmental compliance." The same unit at the Texas City plant was the scene of a 2005 fire, which killed 15 workers and injured another 170.

If a judge rules for the state, BP could face a fine of up to $25,000 for each day it violated emissions standards. 

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Courts Criminal justice Energy Environment State government Attorney General's Office Greg Abbott State agencies