ExxonMobil and Invista pay for TCEQ Violations

ExxonMobil and Invista pay for TCEQ Violations

Two Southeast Texas companies, ExxonMobil and Invista, were hit with fines for air pollution violations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) amounting to a combined total of $100,626.

This was part of a larger statewide effort by the TCEQ. According to the agency, a total of 42 regulated entities were fined $540,711 for a variety of violations.

ExxonMobil’s Beaumont refinery at 1795 Burt St. was fined $87,500 for one air pollution incident, according to agency records.

TCEQ records show the refinery failed to prevent the unauthorized release 30,405.55 pounds of volatile organic compounds and 33.96 pounds of sulfur dioxide from a vapor line that started Oct. 12, 2012, and lasted 190 hours — two hours shy of eight days. 
The chemical plant released 14 pounds of hydrogen cyanide in 16 minutes Oct. 12.

The release occurred as a result of corrosion on an inlet nozzle on a caustic scrubber, according to the agency. ExxonMobil replaced the nozzle and modified the equipment as of Feb. 17, 2013, to mitigate future leaks and to prevent recurrence of emissions.

TCEQ fined local chemical plant Invista SARL, located at 3055 FM 1006 in Orange, $13,126 for two emissions events that resulted in the release hydrogen cyanide.

According to agency records, on Oct. 10, 2012, Invista SARL released 14 pounds of hydrogen cyanide in 16 minutes after a valve became locked in a partially open position during a maintenance turnaround. The company released 20 pounds of hydrogen cyanide and 350 lounds of carbon monoxide in four hours, eight minutes on Dec. 1, 2013, when plant operators failed to maintain required nitrogen pressure as a unit in the plant was restarted.

Actions have been taken by the plant, TCEQ records show. March 13, 2013, the plant revised procedures and implemented training to prevent future emissions events.

Both companies have TCEQ enforcement actions still pending, according to state records.