A refinery in Louisiana was fined $12 million by EPA last year. It was the largest criminal fine under the Clean Air Act. The refinery had a Title V air permit and was found to have illegal released hydrogen sulfide from its flare gas. The pilot light in the flare stack was not operational. Management ignored repeated warning and directive from the state agency to repair the pilot light and instructed staff to buy a flare gun from a Wal-Mart store and fire at the flare gas to ignite it. The refinery also improperly repaired pollution monitoring and control equipment and stored oil in damaged tanks whose floating roofs had collapsed.
The president and general manager of the refinery has pleaded guilty to two felony counts of “placing persons in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury”. He could face a year in prison.
The company had no environmental budget and no environmental staff.