The US state of Texas is seeking more than $1 billion in damages from Shell. A British oil company with Dutch roots is said to have seriously polluted the environment when putting out a fire at a petrochemical plant near Houston.
The fire, in which nine employees had to be taken to hospital for treatment due to a high fever, broke out on May 5 in Deer Park, a suburb of Houston. It is believed that the fire started during routine maintenance work. According to Texas, Shell caused air and water pollution in the fire, and state laws were also violated by the multinational oil company.
The indictment alleges that huge clouds of black smoke generated by the fire polluted the air, and that millions of gallons of water used to fight the fire were illegally discharged into a lake, pond, sewage treatment plant and entered a canal.
“This is a lawsuit to enforce Texas laws that were enacted to protect air, human health, and the environment from pollution, and to control water quality in the state,” she said.
The factory was rebuilt
Shell said in response to the Associated Press news agency that the company is aware of the charges against it, but would not comment on the ongoing disputes. “The chemical plant in Deer Park is still in the recovery phase. We continue to investigate the cause of the fire and the damaged part of the plant is being rebuilt.”
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