Notice & Comment

Criminal Process/Environmental Law: Company Executive Pleads Guilty to Criminal Clean Air Act Violations, by Jonathan Rusch

On July 6, the vice-president and general manager of the Pelican Refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to federal negligent endangerment charges under the Clean Air Act. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release, the defendant, who oversaw operations at the Lake Charles refinery since 2005 from an office in Houston,negligently caused the release of hazardous air pollutants, including hydrogen sulfide, an extremely hazardous substance into the air which placed persons in imminent danger of death and serious bodily injury. A March 2006 inspection by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and EPA unsafe operating conditions, including unpermitted releases of hydrogensulfide, storage of crude oil in unrepaired storage tanks, failure to repair emissions monitoring and control equipment, and the use of plastic children’s swimming pools to contain petroleum leaks.

This post was originally published on the legacy ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Notice and Comment blog, which merged with the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice and Comment blog in 2015.

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