NATIONAL NEWS

Texas sues Shell over May fire at Houston-area petrochemical plant

Aug 15, 2023, 5:22 AM | Updated: 5:38 am

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas is suing Shell and is seeking more than $1 million, alleging a fire at the oil giant’s Houston-area petrochemical plant damaged the environment.

The May 5 fire at the plant in the suburb of Deer Park resulted in nine workers being treated at and released from a hospital.

The lawsuit, filed Aug. 7 in Travis County by the Texas attorney general’s office, alleges air and water contamination and violations of state laws at the plant, including those of the Clean Air Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act and the Water Code.

A Shell spokesperson said the company is aware of the lawsuit but does not comment on pending litigation.

“The Deer Park chemicals facility remains in a recovery phase as we continue to investigate the cause of the fire and rebuild the damaged portion of the plant,” Gunnell said.

The lawsuit contends that heavy black smoke contaminated the environment and that millions of gallons of water used to cool the areas and extinguish the flames were later discharged unlawfully into a lake, a stormwater pond and a wastewater treatment facility, making its way into the Houston Ship Channel.

“This is a lawsuit to enforce Texas laws enacted to safeguard the state’s air resources, human health and the environment against pollution and to protect the quality of water in the state,” it said.

The fire started during routine maintenance work when oils and gases ignited, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said at the time.

National News

Associated Press

After rare flash flood emergency, Florida prepares for more heavy rainfall in coming days

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A tropical disturbance has brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida as residents prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday’s downpours and subsequent flooding blocked roads, floated vehicles and delayed the Florida Panthers on their way to Stanley Cup games in Canada […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Arizona man sold firearms to undercover FBI agent for mass shooting, indictment says

PHOENIX (AP) — A firearms dealer in Arizona sold weapons to an undercover federal agent he believed would help him carry out his plan for a mass shooting targeting minorities, an attack that he hoped would “incite a race war,” according to a federal grand jury indictment. Mark Adams Prieto was indicted Tuesday by the […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Neil Goldschmidt, former Oregon governor who confessed to sex with a minor in the 1970s, has died

Neil Goldschmidt, a former Oregon governor whose confession that he had sex with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s blackened what had been a nearly sterling reputation, has died. He was 83. Goldschmidt died at his Portland home on Wednesday, The Oregonian reported, according to family members. The newspaper said the reported cause was heart […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

Man charged with robbing a California bank was released from prison a day earlier, prosecutors say

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A man charged with taking three people hostage while robbing a Southern California bank last month had been released from prison a day earlier, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The 53-year-old was indicted on robbery charges after investigators said he claimed to have a gun, jumped over the teller counter and […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

South Carolina man pleads guilty in federal court to fatally shooting Virginia police officer

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — A South Carolina man pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday in the shooting death of a police officer in southwest Virginia in 2021. Michael Donivan White, 36, of Cross, South Carolina, had already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges in state court. The federal counts include drug charges and causing the […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Democrats in Congress say federal mediators should let airline workers strike when it’s ‘necessary’

A group of 32 senators say federal mediators should speed up labor negotiations between airlines and their flight attendants and other workers, even granting them permission to go on strike “as necessary.” The lawmakers said Wednesday that airlines feel no pressure to reach contract agreements quickly because federal law makes it difficult for airline workers […]

15 hours ago

Texas sues Shell over May fire at Houston-area petrochemical plant