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Exxon Citizen Suit With Record Penalty Difficult to Repeat

June 2, 2017, 11:01 AM

The $20 million fine recently levied against ExxonMobil Corp. is a record penalty for an air pollution lawsuit brought by a citizens’ group, but attorneys say bringing other big cases like it will be difficult.

There are few targets as large as Exxon’s Baytown Complex in Texas, one of the largest integrated refining and petrochemical facilities in the world. And environmental groups opposed to the Trump administration’s policies are preparing to devote more of their time to defending Environmental Protection Agency regulations, sapping resources they might have used to sue industrial polluters.

While citizen suits in general are expected to ...