was slapped with a record $87 million in penalties by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for failure to correct safety problems identified after a 2005 explosion that killed 15 workers at its Texas City refinery, the
New York Times
reported, citing federal officials.
The fine will be the
and is more than four times the size of any previous sanction. According to the report, the penalty is based on BP's failure to comply in hundreds of instances with a 2005 agreement to fix safety hazards at the nation's third-largest refinery.
OSHA is imposing fines of $56.7 million for BP's failure to correct hazards at the Texas City refinery over the four-year period since the explosion plus $30.7 million for "willful and egregious" violations of industry-accepted safety controls at the refinery, the
New York Times
BP responded by issuing a statement saying: "We continue to believe we are in full compliance with the settlement agreement, and we look forward to demonstrating that before the review commission." The commission has the power to modify OSHA penalties.
The company, which said it has spent more than $1 billion to upgrade production and improve safety at the refinery, plans to keep working with OSHA to resolve differences. BP has settled more than 4,000 civil claims, paid from a $2.1 billion fund it had set aside to resolve claims, the Times reported.
A department official told the newspaper that the record penalties assessed against BP were not to send a signal to the industry, but to penalize a company with a long record of moving slowly in addressing safety concerns.