A federal judge in Houston has ordered Exxon Mobil to pay a civil penalty of nearly $20 million for releasing 10 million pounds of pollutants into the air from its Baytown refining and chemical complex over the course of eight years.
In a ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge David Hittner said evidence showed that the Texas oil company’s emissions from 2005 to 2013 put it in violation of the Clean Air Act 16,386 times.
The environmental groups Sierra Club and Environment Texas Citizen Lobby filed suit against Exxon in 2010, but the district court ruled in the company’s favor four years later. Last year, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Hittner’s original decision and ordered him to reconsider various aspects of the case, including the number of violations by Exxon.
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