Attorney General Paxton outlines $1.4M settlement with Port Arthur refinery for unauthorized pollution

Published 11:14 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday that his office secured a $1.4 million settlement in an environmental enforcement action against a Port Arthur refinery.

According to Paxton, the facility was operated by TotalEnergies Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc.

He said the settlement highlights the office’s commitment to upholding the law and protecting Texas’ environment.

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“We will continue to ensure that companies who unlawfully pollute our air and waterways are held accountable and that they take proactive steps to prevent it from ever occurring again,” Paxton said.

State officials said the Port Arthur refinery violated the Texas Clean Air Act while emitting unauthorized pollutants. The refinery experienced multiple, recurring instances of unauthorized emissions and permit violations caused by operator errors, equipment malfunctions and poor maintenance practices.

Under the settlement, according to Paxton, TotalEnergies agreed to pay $1.3 million in civil penalties and $100,000 in attorney’s fees. Further, TotalEnergies must implement a series of corrective actions to prevent further unauthorized pollution. The Office of the Attorney General represented the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in this environmental enforcement action.