Thursday, September 15, 2011

Harris County and TCEQ Sue ExxonMobil Over Propylene Release

By: Duane Craig

Harris County, Texas, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have sued ExxonMobil over its alleged unauthorized release of 53.3 tons of propylene. The company will also have to answer for a “rotten egg” odor that supposedly wafted from its Baytown facility on January 14, according to a report in Ultimate Baytown.

The propylene incidents happened between April 12 and June 2. Propylene interacts with sunlight to cause ozone. ExxonMobil’s record with the environment inches closer to legendary every year and it seems to spend a great deal of energy being a bully. From the Valdez to the latest spill in the Yellowstone River the company is becoming the poster child for petrol accidents. One of its business units is facing stiff opposition to it running oversized loads up Highway 12 in Idaho, and another business unit trying to get a permit to explore the Marcellus shale is refusing to do an environmental report.

One long-running case involving ExxonMobil is the suit brought by the Inupiat village of Kivalina in Alaska, according to this New York Times report. In that suit the company is charged with civil conspiracy to suppress knowledge and is one of many charged for being a nuisance for their rolls in global warming, the event that is causing the community to be abandoned, according to this article. In a more severe case the company is alleged to have known about killings and torture performed by its security forces in Indonesia’s Aceh province. That case was previously dismissed but has been reinstated by a U.S. federal appeals court.

No comments: