The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed two felony charges in a bill of information in a Lafayette federal district court against Pelican Refining Company for knowingly violating its permit issued by the Clean Air Act at its refinery located in Lake Charles.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that from 2005 to 2007, the company knowingly released pollutants into the environment. According to the DOJ, a federal investigation revealed the refinery’s substandard operating conditions, including the intentional release of hydrogen sulfide into the air, the storage of crude oil in tanks in need of repair and the use of plastic children’s swimming pools to control petroleum leaks.
The Clean Air Act is a federal statute designed to prevent and control environmental contamination through the creation of emissions standards, regulations and permit requirements. With Louisiana being home to more than 30 operating refineries, environmental contamination is a serious concern in the state.
Whether the corporation acted purposefully or negligently, toxic tort law is a way to hold corporations liable for their unlawful actions. Often environmental contamination can cause serious health problems, including cancer, asthma, respiratory illness, organ damage, infertility, or wrongful death. Environmental contamination can also cause damage to property when the contamination seeps into water and soil, damages property structures, or harms animals. Because these problems may not surface until years after exposure, it is important to remain vigilant if you think that you or your family may have been exposed to environmental pollution.
If you believe that you or a loved one may have been a victim of environmental contamination, you should speak with an experienced attorney to discuss your legal rights. For questions, contact Broussard & David at 1-888-337-2323 (toll free) or 337-233-2323 (local).