Friday, December 21, 2007

ConocoPhillips: they're bad, REAL BAD

In all the lonely, poorly compensated years we've been following the pollution scene here in the Petrochemical Underarm, the ConocoPhilips refinery in Old Ocean (near Sweeny here in Brazoria County) has distinguished itself as one of the leading environmental scofflaws of this godforsaken land.

Now comes word from Austin that solidifies ConocoPhillips' reputation as a bad corporate carbuncle in the collective armpit of where Texas began.

Under an agreed order with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the company has been penalized $325,120 for its environmental crimes.

The fine print says ConocoPhillips failed to prevent unauthorized emissions, failed to properly notify the TCEQ of emissions events and failed to comply with the permitted emission rate of 2.44 pounds (lbs) of particulate matter (PM) per 1,000 lbs of coke burn-off.

The $325,120 penalty imposed by the state is "offset" by $162,560 applied to Houston-Galveston AERCO?s Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles Program; we can't say whether that's fair or not since we frankly have no idea what that program does exactly, but still. That's a huge fine and that why here as we approach the end of the year 2007 we hereby name ConocoPhillips not only the Polluter of the Week but the Polluter of the Year.

[where in the hell is Old Ocean, Texas?]

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