It’s time for Texas polluters to clean up their act

Pollution from refineries and chemical plants is making people sick, but regulators largely look the other way when big polluters break the law.

ExxonMobil broke clean air laws at its Baytown oil refinery and chemical plant near Houston more than 4,000 times over five years—compounding Texas’ pollution problems and endangering the health of nearby residents. It’s clear we need to take firm action to force Texas’ biggest polluters to clean up their act.

A winning legal strategy

Backed by our members, Environment Texas is standing up to ExxonMobil and other polluters, pressing regulators to act, and taking legal action. Using the same strategy that allowed us to force Shell Oil to clean up its Deer Park refinery in 2009, we’re exercising our right under the Clean Air Act to demand compliance with the law.

Cleaning up our air, one polluter at a time

With our legal action against Shell Oil in 2009 and now against ExxonMobil, we're taking a powerful stand against Texas' biggest air polluters.

We're also creating a precedent that will reverberate throughout the oil industry and put renewed pressure on regulators to stand up for our health.

The latest in our court case

Our lawsuit went to trial in a federal courthouse in Houston in February. Our attorneys are now writing final briefs which must be submitted by mid-June. Judge David Hittner will rule on the lawsuit sometime thereafter.

Click here to join our campaign, and urge the EPA to crack down on Texas' worst polluters.

Clean air updates

News Release | Environment Texas

Texas breakdown: 68 million pounds of pollution released during industrial malfunctions and maintenance last year

AUSTIN-- More than 68 million pounds of mostly illegal air pollution poured from 679 facilities in Texas during 3,421 incidents of breakdowns and maintenance in 2015, according to a new report based on state records.

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Report | Environment Texas and Environmental Integrity Project

Breakdowns in Air Quality

Texas leads the nation in energy production. But being number one also has its downsides in terms of air pollution. Well known for its hands-off approach to environmental enforcement, Texas allows industries to release excessive amounts of air pollution when old and poorly controlled equipment breaks down and when facilities undergo maintenance work. 
In 2015, 679 industrial sites in more than 100 Texas counties released more than 34,000 tons of air pollutants during 3,421 incidents of malfunctions and maintenance events, according to industry self-reported data.

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News Release | Environment Texas

Citizen groups to federal appeals court: hold Exxon accountable

NEW ORLEANS – ExxonMobil should face severe sanctions for releasing 10 million pounds of illegal, health-threatening air pollution into the densely populated communities around Baytown, Texas, attorneys for citizen-based environmental groups said today before a three-judge panel of the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Blog Post

EPA: Take potential Clean Air Act violations seriously. | Sara E Smith

Major facilities in Texas frequently break the law and exceed the amount of pollution they are allowed to release based on their agreed upon permit terms.

All too often, government agencies allow these violations of Clean Air permits to go unpunished, whether from lack of political will, lack of resources or other reasons.  This lax enforcement encourages facilities to continue polluting—and endangering public health—with impunity.

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Blog Post

Great opportunity for Texas clean air activists | Sara E Smith

Four Days of Play, Peers, Planning and Productive Protest 

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