Bloomberg Law
March 8, 2021, 11:01 AM

Liability Elusive for Air Pollution Released During Texas Storms

Jennifer Hijazi
Jennifer Hijazi

Holding petrochemical plants and industrial facilities legally accountable for belching millions of pounds of extra pollution into Texas skies in the wake of natural disasters like the recent winter storms that pummeled the state is a difficult task.

Though legal challenges aren’t out of the question, lax enforcement and longstanding legal shields offer solid defenses for more than 200 Texas facilities that released benzene, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide during massive power outages caused by last month’s deep freeze.

“These emissions were not permitted, but there are terms in almost all clean air permits that acknowledge accidental releases,” University of ...

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