Texas sues Shell over May fire at Houston-area petrochemical plant

Texas sues Shell over May fire at Houston-area petrochemical plant

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Texas Sues Shell Oil Company for $1 Million Over Environmental Damages

Texas is suing Shell Oil Company for more than $1 million, alleging a fire at the oil giant’s Houston-area petrochemical plant caused environmental damages. On August 7th, Travis County filed the lawsuit against Shell, citing violation of several state laws, such as the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and Water Code. Texas Attorney General’s office is leading the lawsuit.

The fire broke out on May 5th at Shell’s Deer Park plant, resulting in workers being treated for minor injuries in the hospital. The lawsuit claims that black smoke from the fire contaminated the air, and water used to cool the areas and extinguish the flames was unlawfully discharged into a lake, a stormwater pond, and a wastewater treatment facility, eventually making its way to Houston Ship Channel.

A Shell spokesperson said that the company is aware of the lawsuit, but couldn’t comment on pending litigation. The spokesperson added, however, that the maintenance work was being conducted when the fire started, and oils and gases were to blame for the incident.

This lawsuit comes as a part of the Texas Attorney General’s commitment to safeguard Texas’s air resources, protect human health, and ensure quality of water for local inhabitants. If found guilty, Shell will have to pay the amount to the state in order to rectify the environmental damages the fire caused.

This incident serves as a reminder that businesses, even in the oil and gas industry, need to be mindful of their environmental responsibilities. Every action has consequences, and this lawsuit is proof of that.

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