County Attorney Ryan Sues ExxonMobile Over Pollution Caused By Baytown Plant Fire

ExxonMobile fire at Bayotwn Complex on July 31, 2019

ExxonMobile fire at Bayotwn Complex on July 31, 2019


Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan today filed suit against ExxonMobile Chemical Company over pollution caused by a fire Wednesday at its Baytown Olefins plant.

Ryan’s suit alleges the company violated state pollution laws and created a threat to public health and safety as a result of the fire at the Baytown Complex, located at 5200 Bay Way Drive.

“Exxon violated state law by releasing tons of pollutants into the atmosphere,” said County Attorney Ryan. “The company violated the Texas Clean Air Act and the Texas Health and Safety Code when the fire resulted in the emission of propylene, LPG, propane and associated products of combustion.”

Investigators from Harris County Pollution Control Services investigated the violation and provided air-monitoring data to the public as the incident developed.

This is not the first time Harris County Attorney’s Office has sued Exxon for air pollution. Earlier this year, the County sued ExxonMobile for an explosion and fire at the Baytown Refinery that took place in March.

In its original petition, the County asks the court to issue temporary and permanent injunctions ordering Exxon to appoint an independent third party to study the incident and to make recommendations to the court. This would allow the court to issue orders requiring the company to take measures to ensure this kind of event does not occur again. The County also seeks to recover its attorney’s fees, court costs and expenses.

“This is not the first time my office has been required to focus the County’s scarce resources on this company’s air pollution,” County Attorney Ryan said. “Exxon, like any other polluter, must be held accountable for yesterday’s fire and its consequences.” Ryan said.

Click here to view injunctions.