Oil Company Will Pay Millions for Clean Air Act Violations

A federal judge approved a settlement requiring Murphy Oil USA to pay $1.25 million for Clean Air Act violations at its refinery in St. Bernard Parish. In addition, the oil company has to invest more than $142 million in new equipment to reduce future pollution, and spend a minimum of $1.5 million on statewide environmental projects. In previous months, representatives of Murphy Oil, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Louisiana Department of Environment Quality approved the settlement.

Last year, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Murphy Oil liable for 21 violations of the Clean Air Act. Its oil refinery released more chemicals than allowed under state permits, resulting in the lawsuit by the Concerned Citizens group in St. Bernard Parish.

Seven months after the district court ruling, the EPA, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the state of Wisconsin sued Murphy Oil for Clean Air Act violations. Murphy Oil also has a refinery in Superior, Wisconsin.

A federal judge signed the settlement into law last week. One day later, the Concerned Citizens Group asked the judge to rescind an EPA air permit, claiming it is based on miscalculated pollution estimates at the Murphy Oil refineries.

Murphy Oil plans to sell its oil refineries in St. Bernard Parish and Wisconsin. If the refineries sell, the settlement still applies.

Dangerous pollutants expose people to harmful chemicals in the air, soil or water. Contact a New Orleans injury lawyer if you or a loved one suffers complications due to environmental hazards. A free case review by a New Orleans injury attorney is available.