Two weeks before the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, BP's huge Texas City, Texas refinery is said to have spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air. The toxic chemical release from the BP facility allegedly began April 6 and lasted 40 days.
This toxic chemical release stemmed from BP's unsafe decision to keep producing and selling gasoline while repairing equipment. Does this story sound familiar from the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventor?
BP failed to detect the gravity of its emissions for weeks, and now believes approximately 538,000 pounds of chemicals escaped from its Texas refinery while it was replacing the equipment. These included 17,000 pounds of benzene, a known carcinogen, among other harmful and toxic chemicals.
The Texas City BP refinery has continually been a problem-causer. It was the site of a huge 2005 explosion which killed 15 workers. Our firm's explosion lawyers represented multiple clients in that litigation so we know BP and their poor safety record well. Since that explosion, four more workers have died at this refinery. Additionally, just last year, OSHA fined BP $87 million for failing to address the safety problems that caused the 2005 blast. Also last year, the Texas Attorney General filed a civil lawsuit against BP for “poor operating and maintenance practices’’ that caused an “egregious amount of emissions.” That case cited 53 separate incidents that, taken together, are roughly equal to the 538,000 pounds BP calculates it released over the 40 days this year.
In the weeks since the Deepwater Horizon exploded, BP has repearedly cried out that the oil rig explosion was an unusual misstep for them. We don't buy it.
The 40-day toxic chemical release errily foreshadowed the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP officials underestimated the problem and took steps in the days leading up to the incident to reduce costs and keep their operations online. Our Texas Injury Lawyers say that this is enough.