Environment Texas vs. ExxonMobil

Released by: Environment Texas

ENVIRONMENT TEXAS CITIZEN LOBBY, INC.,
and SIERRA CLUB,
Plaintiffs, Civil Action No. 4:10-cv-4969
v.
EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION,
EXXONMOBIL CHEMICAL COMPANY, and
EXXONMOBIL REFINING AND SUPPLY COMPANY,
Defendants.
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COMPLAINT
INTRODUCTION
1. Defendants own and operate an industrial complex in Baytown, Texas (the “Baytown Complex” or “Complex”) consisting of an oil refinery, chemical plant, and olefins plant. It is the largest petroleum and petrochemical complex in the United States. The refinery in the Baytown Complex is the largest refinery in the United States. The Baytown Complex covers approximately 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel, about 25 miles east of Houston. According to the most recent publicly available inventories of air pollution from stationary sources, the Baytown Complex emits more pollutants into the air than any other industrial complex in Harris County.

2. Defendants are violating the federal Clean Air Act (the “CAA” or “Act”). Over the last five years they have emitted more than eight million pounds of pollutants into the atmosphere from the Baytown Complex in excess of legal limits imposed by federal and state regulations and by Clean Air Act permits issued by the State of Texas. The types of pollutants the Baytown Complex emits are known to cause a variety of problems: for example, some are carcinogenic, some cause and aggravate respiratory and other illnesses, and some contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a major constituent of smog. Over the past five years, pollutants that the Baytown Complex has illegally emitted include: sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, hexane, toluene, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen chloride, propane, ethylene, butane, and butene.
3. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), thousands of people live within a mile of the Baytown Complex; tens of thousands of people live within three miles of the Baytown Complex; and hundreds of thousands of people live within ten miles of the Baytown Complex.
4. Plaintiffs are citizen-based environmental organizations with individual members who live and work close to the Baytown Complex. Plaintiffs’ members breathe, and are exposed in other ways, to more harmful pollutants than they otherwise would be, as a direct result of the Baytown Complex’s excess air emissions that violate the Act. These excess emissions of pollutants have adverse impacts on these individuals’ health, and on their recreational, aesthetic, and other interests. Excess emissions from the Baytown Complex cause and contribute to chest congestion, coughing, fatigue, headaches, itching eyes, and other conditions among Plaintiffs’ members. Plaintiffs’ members worry that the Complex’s excess emissions heighten the risk of cancer.