The Environmental Integrity Project says Texas refineries are polluting the environment at alarming rates.
Based on data gathered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, 100,000 tons of pollution released into the Texas air is tied to "accidents" at Texas refineries, chemical plants, and oil and gas facilities.
The data, gathered from 2009-2011, shows that the nonroutine emission events at chemical plants, refineries, and natural gas operations released a combined total of more than 42,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and just over 50,000 tons of smog forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
"These emission events are sudden and can release hundreds to thousands of pounds of pollutants into the air at one time. For example, just last month the Texas Petrochemical Facility in Houston released 140 tons of VOCs in a seven hour period. These sudden bursts are especially problematic for people that are prone to asthma or having asthma attacks," said EIP attorney Sparsh Khandeshi.
On Wednesday, the EIP sent two notice of intent (NOI) to sue filings to the Environmental Protection Agency related to major pollution issues in violation of The Clean Air Act at U.S. refineries.
"When these facilities report their total emissions that regulators use to determine what standards are adequate are based on the Industry Supplied Emissions Report, but those are based on faulty formulas, so the EPA has a duty to review and revise those every three years," said Khandeshi.