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Texas oil company fined $12M for violations in Louisiana
Legal News Line ^ | 12-20-11 | Michael P. Tremoglie

Posted on 12/21/2011 5:18:15 AM PST by Miami Vice

Houston-based Pelican Refining Co. has been fined $12 million for felony violations of the Clean Air Act at its Louisiana refinery.

A federal judge in Lafayette, La., imposed the fine - the largest ever in Louisiana for violations of the act - after the company pleaded guilty in October. The violations were ...

(Excerpt) Read more at legalnewsline.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: energy; environmentalists; epa; oil; refinery

1 posted on 12/21/2011 5:18:17 AM PST by Miami Vice
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To: Miami Vice

Heck, this sounds like fun:
“Employees routinely used an emergency flare gun to re-light the flare tower at the refinery designed to burn off toxic gasses and provide for the safe combustion of potentially explosive chemicals because the pilot light was not functioning properly. This occurred for more than a year. The employees would take turns trying to shoot the flare gun to re-light the explosive gases”
Come on, its Louisiana!


2 posted on 12/21/2011 5:24:18 AM PST by 9422WMR
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To: Miami Vice

I can’t get the link to open—will try later........


3 posted on 12/21/2011 5:43:07 AM PST by basil (It's time to rid the country of "gun free zones" aka "Killing Fields")
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To: Miami Vice

Doesn’t sound like a very safe place to work. Wait until OSHA gets through with them. They’ll probably be bankrupt.


4 posted on 12/21/2011 5:43:32 AM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: 9422WMR

Lite em up !


5 posted on 12/21/2011 5:44:33 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Gimme that old time fossil fuel.)
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To: Miami Vice
Pelican also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for submitting materially false deviation reports to LDEQ, the agency that administers the federal Clean Air Act in Louisiana. It admitted that there was not a company budget or organizational infrastructure for environmental quality. It also admitted to not having the prerequisite environmental equipment.

Employees routinely used an emergency flare gun to re-light the flare tower at the refinery designed to burn off toxic gasses and provide for the safe combustion of potentially explosive chemicals because the pilot light was not functioning properly. This occurred for more than a year. The employees would take turns trying to shoot the flare gun to re-light the explosive gases.

In addition, Pelican admitted to violations which included the storage of sour crude oil in a tank that was not properly placed into service and remained in the tank after the roof sank; bypassing a caustic scrubber designed to remove hydrogen sulfide from emission; not repairing a malfunctioning continuous emission monitoring system designed to measure the hydrogen sulfide levels in refinery emissions; and furnishing false results to both Louisiana and Texas concerning the laboratory testing of asphalt.

I wonder how long the Pelican gang thought they could get away with this?

6 posted on 12/21/2011 6:19:33 AM PST by Clara Lou
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To: basil

Here it is from another source not requiring excerpting.

Louisiana oil refiner earns record $12 million fine
http://www.pennenergy.com/index/petroleum/display/2999487247/articles/pennenergy/petroleum/refining/2011/12/louisiana-oil_refiner.html

December 19, 2011

The U.S. levied the largest criminal fine in history on a Texas company operating an oil refinery in Louisiana, according to The Associated Press.

Houston-based Pelican Refining along with two of the company’s top executives pled guilty to a variety of violations of the federal Clean Air Act at its Lake Charles refinery in October of this year. On Thursday, December 15, a federal judge issued a fine a criminal fine of $10 million in addition to $2 million in community service payments.

“This conviction sends a message to all those who threaten Louisiana’s precious environment that if they ignore their duty to adhere to the environmental laws, they will be investigated, prosecuted, fined and sentenced accordingly,” federal attorney Stephanie Finley said in a prepared statement, according to the AP.

KATC.com reports that the refining plant breached environmental regulations in a variety of ways ranging from the improper storage of oil to the year-long practice of relighting a flare tower for toxic gases with a flare gun after the tower’s pilot light went out.

In addition to the fines, Pelican will be banned from operating its refinery until certain upgrades are completed. The breaches were initially discovered in an inspection in 2006.

- - - -

This is a very small refinery producing little more than road oil and/or asphalt.

Capacity of Operable Petroleum Refineries by State as of January 1, 2011
http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/refinerycapacity/table3.pdf

Production Capacity of Operable Petroleum Refineries by State as of January 1, 2011
http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/refinerycapacity/table4.pdf

(note: similar titles but provide different but related information)


7 posted on 12/21/2011 6:22:15 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: 9422WMR
The employees would take turns trying to shoot the flare gun to re-light the explosive gases”

... and then go fishing with dynamite.

8 posted on 12/21/2011 7:05:26 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter
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To: thackney

Thanks!


9 posted on 12/21/2011 7:06:09 AM PST by basil (It's time to rid the country of "gun free zones" aka "Killing Fields")
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To: 9422WMR

That judge is such a buzz kill. LOL!!!


10 posted on 12/21/2011 8:39:15 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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