Louisiana Bucket Brigade
October 20, 2005





Decision by Judge Sarah Vance filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern
District of Louisiana, October 14, 2005

Excerpts from the Judge's decision in which ExxonMobil is found guilty
of violating the Clean Air Act.

A Summary of the Violations

ExxonMobil was accused of violating the Clean Air Act. The specific
violations for which ExxonMobil was found guilty are as follows:

* "Plaintiffs now move for partial summary judgment on defendant's
liability for an additional 2, 629 alleged violations of the Clean Air
Act. The alleged violations consist of (1) 1,273 violations of permit
limits on emissions of benzene from the refinery's two benzene tanks
since 2003; (2) 536 violations of permit limits on emissions of sulfur
dioxide from the refinery's flares since 2002; and (3) 820 violations
of "new source performance standards" for flares and monitoring of
flares since 1999." (pp. 3 -- 4)

Leaking Benzene Tanks

Benzene is known to cause cancer in humans. ExxonMobil has been
illegally leaking this chemical from their tanks.

* "In this written notification, defendant admitted that the total
annual benzene emissions for the year 2002 from tank D-13001 were
5,087 pounds and that the total annual emissions from tank D-13002
were 5,077 pounds, or approximately 2.54 tons each. (Id. at 5).
Because the permit for these tank limits defendant to .43 tons of
benzene emissions per year, defendant, by its own admission, emitted
almost six times the annual permitted amounts of benzene from tanks
D-13001 and D-13002." pp. 11 -- 12

* "Plaintiffs have demonstrated that these admitted-to amounts of
benzene emissions regularly exceeded defendant's annual and hourly
permit limits for all three tanks and, therefore, resulted in numerous
violations of defendant's permits." p. 14

Sulfur Dioxide Dumping

Sulfur Dioxide is known to trigger asthma attacks. Children and the
elderly are especially vulnerable. ExxonMobil illegally dumped sulfur
dioxide on the community by burning it through their flares -- the
flames you often see coming from the refinery.

* "On October 14, 2002, defendant notified the LDEQ that from
September 1, 2001 through August 31, 2002, it continuously released
sulfur dioxide from the two flares in excess of 500 pounds per day.
(Id., Ex. 7). Defendant admitted that the release was "not related to
any upset or emergency condition. (Id.)." p. 23

*The St. Bernard Citizens for Environmental Quality and the Louisiana
Bucket Brigade filed this law suit because, despite flagrant and
repeated violations by the refinery, the Louisiana Department of
Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) completely failed to protect the citizens and enforce the law.

This law suit is a citizens' enforcement law suit. The Clean Air Act
says that citizens have a right to enforce the law through law suits
when the government (i.e. the EPA and DEQ) isn't doing its job. The
victory here is cleaner air for everyone. None of the plaintiffs are
awarded any money. All fines paid by ExxonMobil go directly to the
U.S. Treasury.

Many thanks to the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic for representing
the organizations at no charge (free!).

Anne Rolfes, Founding Director
Louisiana Bucket Brigade
5745 Berkshire
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70806
p: (501) 554 -- 2727