Houston, TX – ExxonMobil Corporation is scheduled to stand trial in early 2014 for more than 10,000 alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act at its Baytown, Texas, refinery and chemical plant complex.
Unlike fellow oil and chemical giants Shell and Chevron Phillips (see story on p. 4), ExxonMobil hired three sets of lawyers to fight the enforcement suit brought by Environment Texas and Sierra Club rather than negotiate a solution to its long history of illegal emissions of smog- forming chemicals and hazardous air pollutants.
But armed with internal records obtained from Exxon, publicly-disclosed reports of violations, and several favorable rulings by the court, NELC attorneys will be well-prepared for the battle.
In June, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith ruled that plaintiffs can sue not just for thousands of violations enumerated in their original complaint, filed in December 2010, but also for “new” violations occurring since that time. He also rejected Exxon’s claims that thousands of pages of documents in the case should be kept secret from the public.