This week, a federal judge ordered Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) to pay a penalty of $19.95 million for the pollution in its Baytown, Texas plant over the course of eight years from 2005.
The judge said that Exxon Mobil released 10 million pounds of pollutants into the air from a complex in the east if Houston between 2005 and 2013, which violated federal clean-air standards.
The Baytown, Texas complex, owns the second largest refinery in the U.S. The plant was fined $1.4 million for pollution by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which regulated the Baytown complex. The judge deducted the amount fined by TCEQ when determining the penalty and the penalty will be paid to federal government.
The judge also said that Exxon was liable for legal fees incurred by the two environmental groups, the Environment Texas and the Sierra Club, which filed a lawsuit in 2010, arguing that Exxon collected economic benefits of over $14 million by delaying to curb emissions from Baytown plant.
“We disagree with the court's decision and the award of any penalty,” Todd Spitler, the spokesman of Exxon, said in a statement. “As the court expressed in its decision, ExxonMobil's full compliance history and good faith efforts to comply weigh against assessing any penalty.”
The company responded that it would consider its legal options and might consider an appeal.