PA-CAN settles with Motiva, pulls permit challenge

Published 7:24 pm Saturday, February 15, 2020

Port Arthur Community Action Network has reached a settlement with Motiva Enterprises LLC after PA-CAN agreed to not challenge permits given to the oil refinery company by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The agreement was reached Jan. 21 and announced earlier this month. The permits are connected to Motiva’s expansion plans in its refinery and terminal and also includes an ethane cracker and polyethylene plant for producing plastics, according to Houston-based Lone Star Legal Aid.

Included in the agreement, according to Lone Star, Motiva and PA-CAN will collaborate on: developing a long-term environmental justice strategic plan for Port Arthur; implementing environmental justice projects within the strategic planning process; expanding the Lighthouse Program, an energy efficiency program of the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission; creating a student mentoring program for industry-related and environmental jobs and business development workshops and a mentoring program for small minority-owned businesses in Port Arthur.

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“Notably, the agreement will provide for a community planning process to create an Environmental Justice strategy for improving the health and environment of Port Arthur residents,” Lone Star wrote in a news release. “In addition, an existing energy efficiency program will be expanded in order to make homes safer and healthier in this vulnerable city, where many community members are still struggling to restore their homes more than two years after Tropical Storms Harvey and Imelda inundated Port Arthur’s historic West Side.”

Attempts to reach Motiva’s communications department were unsuccessful.

John Beard, chairman of PA-CAN, said in the Lone Star release his group plans to work in coordination with Motiva and other community partners.

“We look forward to collaborating with Motiva on these projects, which will work to improve the health and quality of life for community members in Port Arthur and Southeast Texas,” he said.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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