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Exxon Mobil ordered to pay $14.25 million fine for violating Clean Air Act at Texas refinery

Exxon Mobil ordered to pay $14.25 million fine for violating Clean Air Act at Texas refinery
© Greg Nash

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Exxon Mobil to pay a $14.25 million civil penalty as part of a decadelong lawsuit.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge David Hittner lowers the amount of the award from a previous ruling in 2017 that had it at $20 million, The Associated Press reported. Hittner’s 2017 ruling was overturned in July.

The 11-year-old lawsuit filed by advocacy group Environment Texas alleges that Exxon Mobil violated the Clean Air Act for years at its refinery in Baytown, Texas.

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Hittner, a Reagan appointee, found in his new opinion that Environment Texas, the Sierra Club and the National Environmental Law Center had proven thousands of instances of illegal flaring and unauthorized releases of pollutants.

Exxon Mobil spokesman Todd Spitler told the AP in a statement that the oil company is “currently reviewing the decision and considering next steps.”

“Exxon has been fighting this case for 11 years now, refusing to take any responsibility for spewing millions of pounds of illegal pollution into Texas communities,” Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas, said in a statement provided to The Hill. “We call on Exxon to finally stop its scorched-earth litigation tactics, pay its penalty and drop these endless appeals.”

The Hill has reached out to Exxon Mobil for further comment.

Updated at 12:29 p.m.