PRSI’s Pasadena, TX, oil refinery experienced a series of fires, explosions, mechanical breakdowns, unauthorized pollution emissions, and workplace injuries before NELC brought suit on behalf of Environment Texas and Sierra Club. The lawsuit, filed in 2017, alleged that PRSI routinely violated emission limits for harmful pollutants — including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds – and had operated without a valid Clean Air Act permit for two years. In 2016 alone, the facility released over 70,000 pounds of unauthorized particulate matter.
After losing its motion to dismiss the case, PRSI entered settlement negotiations. It eventually agreed to overhaul its main air pollution control system and improve its preventive maintenance, emissions tracking, and complaint response systems. It also agreed to ratchet down its emissions and pay over $3 million to help school districts and local governments convert municipal vehicle fleets to electric and hybrid.