Monday, August 25, 2008
Texas has an obligation to enforce environmental laws that protect the health and safety of its residents, Attorney General Abbott said. Industrial growth must be balanced with environmental stewardship in order to ensure a bright future for our state. We are committed to working with industry leaders to protect the quality of our air, water and natural resources for future generations.
An investigation by the TCEQ revealed that seven Lyondell facilities released harmful emissions, including volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, into the atmosphere over a long period of time. The TCEQ discovered that the defendants’ plants in La Porte, Channelview and Chocolate Bayou either ignored long-term pollutant releases or did very little to remedy chronic problems over time. For example, investigators found that Millennium’s La Porte plant may have allowed its pressurized rail cars to vent uncontrolled chemical emissions directly into the atmosphere. Plants in Corpus Christi, Bayport and Beaumont self-reported multiple violations to the TCEQ.
The defendants’ required self-reporting to TCEQ indicated that Equistar and Millennium failed to implement required detection and repair programs that should have addressed valve, connector, pump and other component leaks. According to the defendants’ own reports, thousands of components were ignored.
For years, the Houston area has been designated an ozone non-attainment zone by the federal government. Polluters in these zones are required to implement controls and technological innovations that curb ozone-forming emissions into the air. Ozone is commonly known as smog.
The Lyondell, Equistar and Millennium companies manufacture basic chemicals and derivatives such as ethylene, propylene, titanium oxide, styrene, polyethylene, propylene oxide and acetyls. The seven plants involved in the state’s environmental enforcement action are located in La Porte, Channelview, Chocolate Bayou, Corpus Christi, Bayport and Beaumont.
For more information, contact the Office of the Attorney General at (800) 252-8011 or visit the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.