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BP Fined $50 Million for Polluting Air

HOUSTON (CN) - BP will pay Texas $50 million for 72 separate, illegal pollutant emissions at its Texas City refinery, including a March 2005 explosion that killed 15 people and injured 170, the Texas attorney general said.

The settlement stems from an enforcement action Attorney General Greg Abbott's office filed in June 2009.

The attorney general acted after a referral from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which regulates Texas refineries.

"After the Attorney General's Office filed its original legal action against BP, the TCEQ submitted a second, related referral against BP Products," Abbott's office said in a statement.

"According to TCEQ investigators, multiple Texas Clear Air Act violations occurred at the Texas City refinery between April 6 and May 16 of 2010.

"As a result, the Attorney General's Office filed a second enforcement action and charged BP with illegally emitting approximately 500,000 pounds of harmful air pollutants in Texas City."

One percent of the $50 million - $500,000 - will be used to pay the state's legal fees.

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