Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has filed suit against ExxonMobil Chemical Co., alleging that ExxonMobil has violated the Texas Clean Air Act. As per ourhoustonnews.com, the suit alleges that unauthorized discharge of more than 50 tons of propylene, which occurred between April 12 and June 2, was discovered by ExxonMobil on June 2, but the company failed to report the event until June 9. Permits issued by the State of Texas require that if a petrochemical company releases emissions in excess of the permitted amount, the company must report the emission within 24 hours to the Harris County Pollution Control Services Department and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Even though it failed to properly notify Harris County and the State of Texas, ExxonMobil sought exemptions from penalties for noncompliance.
The 24-hour reporting requirement is in place so Harris County can properly respond to emissions incidents and determine whether shelter-in-place or evacuations are required.