By Dallas Business Journal

Two Texas environmental groups have told Exxon Mobil that they intend to sue the Irving-based company for violations of the Clean Air act at Exxonâ¿¿s Baytown refinery and chemical complex.

The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club and Environment Texas sent a second notice to Exxon and environmental regulators including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on July 2. The Clean Air Act allows citizens to sue for compliance if they believe industry regulators arenâ¿¿t enforcing the law, said Neil Carman, clean air program director at the Sierra Club.

⿿The TCEQ is not enforcing the Clean Air Act,⿝ he said.

The groups are likely to file suit in September, he said.

The environmental groups have filed similar complaints against Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron for pollution from refinery operations in the Houston area.

Shell settled the suit against it last April, agreeing to pay a $5.8 million penalty and to upgrade pollution control at its Deer Park refinery in the Houston area.

Exxon Mobil said it complies with all laws, and plans to defend itself against the allegations, a spokeswoman said. Exxon has reduced the amount of pollution from its Baytown complex in the past two decades, she said.

A TCEQ spokeswoman notes that the agency has issued an increasing number of enforcement orders and penalties over the past several years. In 2009, the agency issued 400 enforcement orders and assessed $10.5 million in penalties related to clean air violations.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010