Chemical Manufacturer and Execs Face Texas Indictment

By on August 8, 2018

August 8, 2018

Arkema North America, CEO Richard Rowe, and the manager of its Crosby, Tex plant were indicted by a Harris County, Tx grand jury. The charge is reckless emission of an air contaminant and endangerment of persons under the Texas Water Code. A toxic cloud emanated from the Arkema plant during Hurricane Harvey, risking serious harm to residents and emergency responders. According to prosecutors, the release was preventable. Chemicals at the plant had to be kept frozen, but temperatures increased after flood waters related to the hurricane knocked out power. The chemicals exploded twice, on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, 2017. People who lived near the plant had to be evacuated and could not return to their homes for more than a week. Twenty-one people sought medical attention after reporting they were exposed to fumes and smoke. Arkema called the indictment “outrageous,” and said the volume of rain that fell had a probability of occurring once every 5,000 to 20,000 years. Climatologists say that the probability is much higher now due to global warming.

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The New York TImes

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