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BP to Pay $50 Million in Civil Penalties for Pollution Connected to Texas City Blast, AG Says

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has announced that BP has agreed to pay a $50 million fine "for unlawfully emitting pollutants during and after the March 2005 explosion" at its Texas City plant.

The civil penalties come two years after BP paid $50 million to resolve federal criminal charges.

"The proposed agreement resolves the State's enforcement actions against BP Products for unlawful pollutant emissions at its Texas City refinery," Abbott said. "The Texas Attorney General's Office is committed to protecting our State's precious natural resources by enforcing environmental pollution laws. The proposed agreement reflects the State's commitment to protecting air quality and holding polluters accountable for illegal emissions."

A half-million of the settlement will go to covering the AG's office's costs in the case; the rest will go to the state treasury.

"BP was responsible for 72 separate -- and unlawful -- pollutant emissions that have been occurring every few months since March 2005. An explosion and related fires erupted at BP's Texas City refinery in March 2005 that claimed 15 lives and injured more than 170 workers," the AG's office said.

The settlement includes language saying BP does not acknowledge liability and agreed to settle in order to avoid litigation.

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