According to Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality, Exxon Mobil Corporation has agreed to pay out almost $2.4 million in improvements, fines and other payments to settle pending violations at their Baton Rouge-area plants. The Louisiana settlement includes $2.3 million which will be resolve violations occurring between 2008 and 2013 at four plants, including the company’s refinery in Baton Rouge.
The leak provoked the Environmental Protect Agency to inspect the plant. The organization found violations that included under-developed emergency procedures and corroded pipes. The Louisiana settlement also includes $1 million in improvements at the Baton Rouge Complex and $1 million for beneficial environmental projects. However, the Louisiana settlement must receive approval from the state attorney general’s office before it goes into effect.
Exxon Mobil and the agency have also agreed to pay for penalties stemming from future pollution; the amounts will depend on the severity of the violations and increase with the amount of pollution and time. A state regulatory adviser for Louisiana stated that these incidents will be reviewed every year while the Louisiana settlement is still fresh in the public’s mind. While proposed contributions to various community projects are beneficial, it is the penalty list that holds true significance. For the first time ever, Louisiana has created a system to enforce their environmental regulations.
Frequency of Oil Incidents
Unfortunately, the Exxon’s Louisiana settlement is not the only instance of an oil spill. Oil spills can occur from:
- Terrorists or vandals
- Breaking pipelines
- Spills from trucks
- Overflowing waste pits
- Tanker ships running aground
The fumes of the oil can be irritating to your lungs, mouth, eyes and nose. If the oil is burned or catches on fire, it can contribute to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
In 1989, Exxon Mobil also came into the news when the Exxon Valdez incident occurred in Alaska. The oil tanker, headed for Long Beach, California, allegedly struck a reef, spilling between 260,000 and 750,000 barrels of oil into the ocean. The incident is considered to be one of the most devastating environmental disasters caused by humans.
In April 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, commonly referred to as the BP oil spill, occurred on the Macondo Prospect, an oil rig operated by BP. In the history of the industry, this event is considered to be the largest marine oil spill accident. Following the explosion and the sinking of the rig, which claimed 11 lives, an oil gusher located on the sea floor continued to flow for 87 days until it was finally capped. An estimated 4.9 million barrels, or 210 million gallons, of oil was dumped into the water.
How Do Oil Spills Affect You?
Oil spills can be devastating and detrimental to nearby residents and travelers. For instance, residents of Mayflower, Arkansas are currently filing claims against Exxon Mobil to seek compensation for the costs incurred for ill health conditions from the environmental consequences of the oil spill. Additionally, the oil spill left many with housing damage and costly repairs.
Those who are affected by oil spills may also be concerned with the amount of toxins that remain on their property after cleanup. If you are among the victims, you may be wondering if your family is safe to live on the property. Can you make a garden or build a swimming pool without worry of severe health conditions? Additionally, the property value of your home may plummet, leaving you with a lower chance of successfully selling your home.
How Hiring an Attorney Can Help You
If you have been affected by an oil spill by Exxon or any other oil company and you have legal questions, or if you would like to learn more about the Louisiana settlement, contact the attorneys at Attorney Group for Louisiana. We will review your case and provide you with information on how to proceed after an incident. If we determine you have a valid claim, you may be entitled to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and property damage.