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Federal appeals court upholds $14 million judgment against Exxon



(Reuters) – The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Tuesday upheld a $14.25 million judgment against Exxon Mobil Corp. for pollution from its Baytown, Texas, refining and petrochemical complex.

The ruling stems from a US Clean Air Act lawsuit brought by two environmental groups, Environment Texas and the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter.

This was Exxon’s second appeal by a district court in Houston in the United States that the company was responsible for repeated discharges of pollution from the refinery and chemical plants in Baytown.

Exxon determined that the Baytown complex had 16,286 days of violations between October 2005 and September 2013, which included multiple concurrent violations.

“While we respect the court̵

7;s opinion, we disagree with the decision,” an Exxon spokeswoman said. “We have acted responsibly and in accordance with authority requirements. We are reviewing the decision and considering next steps.”

Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas, urged Exxon to accept the repeated rulings in the case against the company.

“After 13 years of litigation—including a three-week trial, two appeals, two remands of the case to the district court for further rulings, and three appeals decisions against them—it is long past time for Exxon to take responsibility and finally pay what it owes the public for years of illegal, toxic pollution,” Metzger said.

The case was brought by the two groups under a provision of the Clean Air Act that allows citizens to sue when government agencies have failed to prevent pollution.


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