Headline

Online tool to track air pollution in Texas debuts

Air pollution happens every day in Houston. Sometimes, that pollution is well within permit limits, considered safe by state environmental regulators, and sometimes, it's not. So how do Houston residents who care about air quality tell the difference? Several environmental groups have recently debuted a handy new tool that notifies people when a Texas industry anticipates releasing air pollution that exceeds permitted limits.

News Release | Environment Texas

Federal court: Exxon violated Clean Air Act over 16,000 times, must pay $19.95 million penalty

HOUSTON – After initially ruling in favor of ExxonMobil Corporation and then getting overturned on appeal, a federal district court has found that Exxon committed 16,386 days of violation of the federal Clean Air Act at its Baytown, Texas, refinery and chemical plant.  As a result, the court has ordered Exxon to pay $19.95 million, which is believed to be the largest civil penalty ever imposed in an environmental “citizen suit,” a citizen-initiated enforcement mechanism Congress included in the Clean Air Act and other federal environmental laws.  

News Release | Environment Texas

Houston’s health at risk with 107 dirty air days in 2016

HOUSTON – Preliminary data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that Houston experienced an uptick in unhealthy smog days in 2016, increasing the risk of asthma attacks and other health problems. The finding comes as President Trump and a Texas lawmaker have begun separate efforts to weaken air quality protections.

2016 air pollution data for Texas

By | Luke Metzger
Director

Today we released Our Health at Risk: Why Are Millions of Americans Still Breathing Unhealthy Air?, which examines air pollution data for 2015. We also obtained preliminary data from the EPA for 2016 (the data will officially be considered final on May 1, but we expect few if any changes). So how did Texas metro areas stack up? In general, air pollution improved in Texas in 2016, with a few exceptions. There were more smoggy days in Houston and more sooty days in El Paso, Brownsville and McAllen (increases italicized below).

News Release | Environment Texas

Environmental groups sue Petrobras for Clean Air Act violations at Pasadena, Texas refinery

HOUSTON – Environment Texas and Sierra Club announced today that they have filed a lawsuit in federal court against Pasadena Refining System, Inc. (PRSI) for thousands of persistent violations of the federal Clean Air Act at its Pasadena, Texas, refinery, which is located just east of Houston. PRSI is owned by the state-controlled oil company of Brazil, Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., or Petrobras.

The lawsuit alleges repeated and ongoing violations of numerous hourly and annual limits on emissions of fine particulate matter (or soot), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and other air pollutants over the previous five years.

News Release | Environment Texas

Brazilian energy company Petrobras faces clean air lawsuit for violations at Pasadena, Texas refinery

HOUSTON – Environment Texas and Sierra Club announced today that they intend to sue Pasadena Refining System, Inc. (PRSI) in federal court for violations of the federal Clean Air Act at its Pasadena, Texas, refinery, which is located just east of Houston. The environmental groups’ December 22 “notice of intent to sue” alleges thousands of violations of numerous hourly and annual limits on emissions of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and other air pollutants over the previous five years.

Headline

Exxon, Enviros Tangle Over Refinery Pollution Liability

News Release | Environment Texas

US House votes to weaken Clean Air Act

Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted to adopt H.R. 4775, sponsored by Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas). Dubbed the “Smoggy Skies Act,” the measure would permanently weaken the Clean Air Act, block updated ozone pollution limits for years, and impose sweeping changes to future standards for smog-forming ozone and five other major air pollutants.

News Release | Environment Texas

Federal appeals court rules for environmental groups in major clean air act case against Exxon

HOUSTON – At a press conference in front of the federal district courthouse today, environmental groups will cheer a federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that has reinstated their Clean Air Act enforcement suit against ExxonMobil Corporation concerning thousands of air pollution violations at the company’s Baytown, Texas, oil refinery and chemical plant complex. Last Friday, in a 40-page decision, a unanimous three-judge appellate panel held that U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner “erred in [his] analysis of Exxon’s liability” and “abused [his] discretion” by refusing to assess a civil penalty for Exxon’s thousands of admitted violations of the law.

Headline

5th Circ. Revives Enviros' $641M Exxon Pollution Suit

Exxon Mobil Corp. will have to face a $641 million suit brought by environmentalists over emissions at its Baytown, Texas, refinery, the Fifth Circuit said Friday in an opinion that panned portions of the trial court’s ruling in Exxon's favor as “irreconcilably inconsistent.”

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