BP reaches settlement in Texas pollution lawsuit

BP Products North America Inc agreed to spend more than 167 million dollars to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act. The company will also pay a 12-million-dollar civil penalty.

BP failed to comply with rules requiring strict controls on benzene - a hazardous air pollutant that causes cancer and nerve damage - generated during petroleum refining.The EPA discovered the violations during a series of inspections following a March 2005 explosion that killed 15 people and injured 170 others.

The federal lawsuit settlement requires stringent new measures to protect air quality and public health in Texas. It is expected to reduce emissions of benzene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by approximately 6,000 pounds annually.

The settlement will also eliminate the release of approximately 51,000 pounds of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) from leaking cooling appliances after BP retrofits industrial and commercial cooling appliances.

BP will also spend six million dollars to convert approximately 100 diesel municipal vehicles to natural gas in order to reduce air pollution in the area.



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