A Texas gas plant has released 525 pounds of toxic hydrogen sulfide, officials say, killing one of its employees.
Now Big Lake Gas Plant LP is required to pay a A criminal fine of $ 3 million after pleading guilty to the threat of negligence and violation of the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. The company is a subsidiary of West Texas Gas, Inc.
In a plea agreement of September 2021, the Big Lake gas plant admitted to inadvertently releasing about 525 pounds of hydrogen sulfide in 2018, officials said. According to officials, one of his employees died from exposure to the plant, and another was injured while trying to help the colleague.
“Just a few breaths of high-content air hydrogen sulfide can cause death“, According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and the Register of Diseases. “Low, long-term exposure can cause eye irritation, headaches and fatigue.”
An advocate representing the Big Lake gas plant did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News.
“The defendant’s deliberate and deliberate disregard for federal safety rules and industry practices posed a serious danger to both workers and the public, leading to the tragic death and release of hazardous gases,” said Todd Adney of the Southwest Environmental Protection Agency. Wednesday. Office of Criminal Law Control Program.
Officials say the Big Lake gas plant also failed to update its risk management plan after the 2018 incident, which is required by law.
“Big Lake’s outrageous disregard for federal clean air regulations has had catastrophic consequences,” U.S. Attorney General Chad Mitch said in a statement. “Our prayers are with the family of the employee who died as a result of the hydrogen sulfide incident in 2018. We hope that today’s verdict will bring them some peace. “
In the relevant case, West Texas Gas subsidiaries also agreed to pay more than $ 3 million in civil fines and up to $ 5 million in enforcement action to resolve allegations that it violated federal clean air lawChemical Accident Prevention Requirements in Texas and New Mexico.