Operators of seven petrochemical plants in Houston and along the Texas Gulf Coast have reached a settlement with the state attorney general's office regarding pollution issues. The agreement, subject to approval by a judge, calls for Equistar and Millenium to each set aside US$500,000 to fund supplemental environmental projects identified by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Investigations by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality found that the facilities were releasing volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere.
2 Lyondell subsidiaries that operated the plants in six cities will each pay US$3.25 mln in penalties. Equistar Chemicals and Millenium Petrochemicals Inc. were charged with repeatedly failing to prevent the release of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere at their plants in Beaumont, La Porte, Channelview, Chocolate Bayou, Corpus Christi and Bayport.